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Voice of the diaspora: An analysis of migrant voting behavior

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  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Doyle, Orla

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fidrmuc, Jan & Doyle, Orla, 2005. "Voice of the diaspora: An analysis of migrant voting behavior," ZEI Working Papers B 02-2005, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b022005
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; election; 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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