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Globalization and electoral outcomes: Evidence from Italy

Mauro Caselli (), Andrea Fracasso () and Silvio Traverso

Economics and Politics, 2020, vol. 32, issue 1, 68-103

Abstract: We study whether and to what extent the electoral dynamics in Italy over the 1994–2008 period can be explained by the development of economic factors associated with globalization. To measure the level of exposure to globalization for local labor markets, our main unit of analysis, we use the intensity of import competition from China and the presence of immigrants. Looking at parties’ political positions and employing an estimation strategy that accounts for endogeneity and time‐invariant unobserved effects across local labor markets, we find that both immigration intensity and exposure to import competition from China have contributed positively to the electoral outcomes of far‐right parties, whereas only immigration intensity has increased the vote shares of right‐wing and traditionalist/authoritarian/nationalist parties. Some evidence, albeit not robust, shows that immigration may have also had a positive impact on far‐left parties, thus possibly further contributing toward political polarization. Moreover, electoral turnout has responded negatively to an increased presence of migrants. While the above effects seem to work through the mediation of labor markets, our results, especially those related to immigration, suggest that other mechanisms at the level of local communities are also at play.

Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Globalization and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from Italy (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Globalization and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from Italy (2018) Downloads
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