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Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behavior

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  • Jan Fidrmuc

    ()

  • Orla Doyle

    ()

Abstract

This paper utilizes a unique dataset on votes cast by Czech and Polish migrants in their recent national elections to investigate the impact of institutional, political and economic characteristics on migrants??? voting behavior. The political preferences of migrants are strikingly different from those of their domestic counterparts. In addition, there are also important differences among migrants living in different countries. This paper examines three alternative hypotheses to explain migrant voting behavior: adaptive learning; economic self-selection and political selfselection. The results of the analysis suggest that migrant voting behavior is affected by the institutional environment of the host countries, in particular the tradition of democracy and the extent of economic freedom. In contrast, there is little evidence that differences in migrants??? political attitudes are caused by self-selection based either on economic motives or political attitudes prior to migrating. These results are interpreted as indicating that migrants??? political preferences change in the wake of migration as they adapt to the norms and values prevailing in their surroundings.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fidrmuc & Orla Doyle, 2004. "Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behavior," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-714, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2004-714
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    1. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
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    10. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    12. Thomas Piketty, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 169-191.
    13. Joop Hartog & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Comparing migrants to non-migrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 683-705, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Roman, Monica & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Left behind but doing good? Civic engagement in two post-socialist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 658-684.
    2. Catia Batista & Pedro C. Vicente, 2011. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 77-104, May.
    3. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2005. "Did political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990 - 2002," Trinity Economics Papers 2000515, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:36-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2007. "Did political constraints bind during transition?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 575-601, July.
    6. Toman Barsbai & Hillel Rapoport & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Trebesch, 2017. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 36-69, July.
    7. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; elections; migration; political resocialization; transition;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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