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Refugees, Right-Wing Populism and Propaganda: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy

Francesco Campo, Sara Giunti and Mariapia Mendola

No 495, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper examines how the 2014-2017 ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Italy affected voting behavior and the rise of right–wing populism in national Parliamentary elections. We collect novel administrative data across all Italian municipalities and leverage exogenous variation in refugee resettlement induced by the Dispersal Policy. We find a positive and significant effect of the share of asylum seekers on support for radical-right anti-immigration parties. The effect is heterogeneous across municipality characteristics, yet robust to dispersal policy features. We provide causal evidence that the anti–immigration backlash is not rooted in adverse economic effects, while it is triggered by radical–right propaganda.

Keywords: Immigration; Refugee Crisis; Voting Behavior; Dispersal Policy; Propaganda. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 F22 O15 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56
Date: 2022-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-mig, nep-pol and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mib:wpaper:495

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