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Voice of the diaspora: An analysis of migrant voting behavior

  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Doyle, Orla

This paper utilizes a unique dataset on votes cast by Czech and Polish migrants in recent national elections in their home countries. The political preferences of migrants as manifested by their voting behavior are strikingly different from those of their home-country counterparts. In addition, there are important differences in voting patterns across migrants living in different countries. We examine three explanations of migrant voting behavior: adaptive learning; economic self-selection; and political self-selection. Our results suggest that migrant voting behavior is affected by the institutional environment of the host countries, in particular the democratic tradition and the extent of economic freedom. There is little evidence that differences in migrants' political attitudes are caused by pre-migration self-selection with regard to political attitudes, or with regard to economic considerations. The results indicate that the political preferences of migrants change significantly in the wake of migration as migrants adapt to the norms and values prevailing in the host country. This change away from home could be the catalyst of a corresponding change at home.

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies in its series ZEI Working Papers with number B 02-2005.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b022005
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  1. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
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  9. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Immigration And Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 2566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
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