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

  • Martin Halla
  • Alexander F. Wagner
  • Josef Zweimüller

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 The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2012-04.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2012_04
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  1. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2011. "What drives U.S. immigration policy? Evidence from congressional roll call votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 734-743, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Krishnakumar, Jaya & Müller, Tobias, 2012. "The political economy of immigration in a direct democracy: The case of Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 174-189.
  4. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2011. "Assessing inherent model bias: An application to native displacement in response to immigration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 82-91, January.
  5. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
  6. 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.
  7. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  8. Borjas, George J., 2013. "The analytics of the wage effect of immigration," Scholarly Articles 11744469, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Working Papers 2011/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  10. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke & Alan de Bromhead, 2012. "Right Wing Political Extremism in the Great Depression," Economics Series Working Papers Number 95, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others 0505013, EconWPA.
  12. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2002. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects and Inequality," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0217, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  13. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040134 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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