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Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: (Unexpected) Results from Austria

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  • Steinmayr, Andreas

    () (University of Munich)

Abstract

This paper studies a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of exposure to refugees in the neighborhood on the support for far-right, nationalist, anti-immigration parties. In the state elections in an Austrian state in September 2015 the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPOE) doubled its vote share with a fierce anti-asylum campaign. Since only 42 percent of communities hosted refugees at the time of the election, exposure to refugees varied at the local level. To account for the potential endogeneity in the distribution of refugees, I use pre-existing group accommodations as instrumental variable. To cope with the sudden inflow of large numbers of refugees, these buildings were used to accommodate refugees and thus strongly increase the probability of refugee presence in a community. In line with the contact hypothesis I find that hosting refugees dampens the overall trend and decreases FPOE support by 4.42 percentage points. Further analysis using exit poll data reveals a positive effect on the optimism in the population that the integration of refugees can be managed. Placebo tests show that there were no effects in elections prior to 2015.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinmayr, Andreas, 2016. "Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: (Unexpected) Results from Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 9790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9790
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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuele Bracco & Maria De Paola & Colin Peter Green & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2017. "The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors," Working Papers 156985061, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. Anthony Edo & Yvonne Giesing & Jonathan Öztunc & Panu Poutvaara, 2017. "Immigration and Electoral Support for the Far Left and the Far Right," ifo Working Paper Series 244, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Fabrizio Patriarca & Rama Dasi Mariani & Eugenio Levi, 2017. "Hate at First Sight? Dynamic Aspects of the Electoral Impact of Migrations: The Case of the UK and Brexit," SPRU Working Paper Series 2017-21, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    4. Becker, Sascha O. & Fetzer, Thiemo, "undated". "Does Migration Cause Extreme Voting?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 306, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Altindag, Onur & Kaushal, Neeraj, 2017. "Do Refugees Impact Voting Behavior in the Host Country? Evidence from Syrian Refugee Inflows in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 10849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Mayda, Anna Maria & Peri, Giovanni & Steingress, Walter, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:32:y:2017:i:91:p:497-550. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gehrsitz, Markus & Ungerer, Martin, 2017. "Jobs, Crime, and Votes: A Short-run Evaluation of the Refugee Crisis in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 10494, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "On the economics and politics of refugee migration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 497-550.
    10. Christian Dustman & Kristine Vasiljeva & Anna Piil Damm, 2016. "Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1619, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    11. Christian Ochsner & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Activated History - The Case of the Turkish Sieges of Vienna," CESifo Working Paper Series 6586, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Simon, Lisa & Piopiunik, Marc & Lergetporer, Philipp, 2017. "Information, perceived education level, and attitudes toward refugees: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168280, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Felix Rösel & Julia Sonnenburg, 2016. "Politisch abgehängt? Kreisgebietsreform und AfD Wahlergebnis in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 23(06), pages 06-13, December.
    14. Freddi, Eleonora, 2017. "Do People Avoid Morally Relevant Information? Evidence from the Refugee Crisis," Discussion Paper 2017-034, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Paul Vertier & Max Viskanic, 2018. "Dismantling the "Jungle": Migrant Relocation and Extreme Voting in France," CESifo Working Paper Series 6927, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-22, CEPII research center.
    17. Sekeris, Petros & Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2016. "The Mediterranean Refugees Crisis and Extreme Right Parties: Evidence from Greece," MPRA Paper 72222, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Dehos, Fabian T., 2017. "The refugee wave to Germany and its impact on crime," Ruhr Economic Papers 737, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    19. Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe & Legge, Stefan, 2017. "Quantifying Determinants of Immigration Preferences," Economics Working Paper Series 1710, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    20. Bratti, Massimiliano & Deiana, Claudio & Havari, Enkelejda & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2017. "What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum," IZA Discussion Papers 11060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Ole-Petter Moe Hansen & Stefan Legge, 2016. "Drawbridges Down: Altruism and Immigration Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 6204, CESifo Group Munich.
    22. Colussi, Tommaso & Isphording, Ingo E. & Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," IZA Discussion Papers 10417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    23. Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Peri & Walter Steingress, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 24510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Stöhr, Tobias & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2016. "Conflicting identities: Cosmopolitan or anxious? Appreciating concerns of host country population improves attitudes towards immigrants," Kiel Working Papers 2045, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political economy; refugees; immigration; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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