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The effect of far right parties on the location choice of immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors

Emanuele Bracco (), Maria De Paola (), Colin Green () and Vincenzo Scoppa ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 166, issue C, 12-26

Abstract: Immigration has increasingly taken centre-stage in the political landscape. Part of this has been a rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties in a range of countries. Existing evidence suggests that the presence of immigrants generates an advantage for parties with anti-immigration or nationalist platforms. This paper explores a closely related but overlooked issue: how immigrant behaviour is influenced by these parties. We focus on immigrant location decisions in Northern Italy, an area that has seen the rise of the anti-immigration party Lega Nord. We construct a dataset of mayoral elections in Italy for the years 2002–2014 and estimate the effect of electing a mayor belonging to, or supported by, Lega Nord. Exploiting close elections in a regression discontinuity framework we demonstrate that the election of a Lega Nord mayor discourages immigrants from moving into the municipality. We also provide suggestive evidence that the effect is driven primarily by the anti-immigration politics of Lega Nord insofar as it is absent in the period before their adoption of an explicitly anti-immigration platform and is concentrated in smaller, less educated, municipalities.

Keywords: Immigration; Geographical Mobility; Voting behaviour; Political economy; Regression discontinuity design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J15 J61 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Related works:
Working Paper: THE EFFECT OF FAR RIGHT PARTIES ON THE LOCATION CHOICE OF IMMIGRANTS: EVIDENCE FROM LEGA NORD MAYORS (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:166:y:2018:i:c:p:12-26

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.07.012

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