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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. 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. Anca Turcu & R. Urbatsch, 2020. "Go Means Green: Diasporas’ Affinity for EcologicalGroups," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 20(1), pages 82-102, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Doyle, Orla & Walsh, Patrick Paul, 2005. "Did Political Constraints Bind During Transition? Evidence from Czech Elections 1990-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 1719, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
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    7. Thierry Baudassé & Rémi Bazillier & Ismaël Issifou, 2018. "Migration And Institutions: Exit And Voice (From Abroad)?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 727-766, July.
    8. Ruxanda Berlinschi & Jan Fidrmuc, 2018. "Comfort and Conformity: A Culture-based Theory of Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 7294, CESifo.
    9. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; election; migration; political resocialization; transition;
    All these keywords.

    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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