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Hate at First Sight? Dynamic Aspects of the Electoral Impact of Migrations: The Case of the UK and Brexit

Fabrizio Patriarca (), Rama Dasi Mariani and Eugenio Levi
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Rama Dasi Mariani: Sapienza University of Rome
Eugenio Levi: Sapienza University of Rome

SPRU Working Paper Series from SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School

Abstract: Recent studies provide evidence that immigration has a significant positive effect on the vote for parties with anti-immigration agendas. However, this result does not emerge if we apply the same empirical analysis to the UK, whether in the case of Brexit, or if we consider support for Ukip or the political intentions expressed in the BES survey. To account for this and other fragmented evidence in the literature on personal attitudes towards immigration, we formulate the hypothesis that the increase in anti-immigration views resulting from an increased number of immigrants in a neighbourhood is a temporary effect. Different underlying mechanisms may be at the root of such negative short-run effects, such as material concerns about the adjustment cost of new migration flows, or prejudicial attitudes, both denoting a “hate at first sight” effect. We build an econometric strategy to test for the existence of such a short-run effect in the case of Brexit and then assess the robustness of our result using a panel of the vote for Ukip and individual data from the BES survey. The evidence robustly supports our hypothesis and provides a basis for further analysis.

Keywords: Immigration; Voting; Political Economy; Brexit; Biased attitudes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P16 J61 D72 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int, nep-mig and nep-pol
Date: 2017-10
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