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Does Immigration into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria

  • Halla, Martin

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Wagner, Alexander F.

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

This paper explores one potentially important channel through which immigration may drive support for extreme right-wing parties: the presence of immigrants in one's neighborhood. We study the case of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Under the leadership of Jörg Haider, this party increased its share of votes from less than 5 percent in the early 1980s to 27 percent by the year 1999. Using past regional settlement patterns as a source of exogenous variation, we find a significantly positive effect of the residential proximity of immigrants on FPÖ votes, explaining roughly a quarter of the cross-community variance in FPÖ votes. It is the presence of low- and medium-skilled immigrants that drives this result; high-skilled immigrants have no (or even a negative) effect on FPÖ votes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6575.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6575
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  1. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Working Papers 2011/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max, 2011. "What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," IZA Discussion Papers 5561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2010. "Assessing Inherent Model Bias: An Application to Native Displacement in Response to Immigration," NBER Working Papers 16332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Alan de Bromhead & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2012. "Right-Wing Political Extremism in the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 17871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Åslund, Olof, 2001. "Now and forever? Initial and subsequent location choices of immigrants," Working Paper Series 2001:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
  11. King, Gary & Rosen, Ori & Tanner, Martin & Wagner, Alexander F., 2008. "Ordinary Economic Voting Behavior in the Extraordinary Election of Adolf Hitler," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 951-996, December.
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  13. Borjas, George J., 2013. "The analytics of the wage effect of immigration," Scholarly Articles 11744469, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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