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The Effects of Asylum Seekers on Political Outcomes

Noémie Zurlinden (), Arnau Valladares-Esteban and Charles Gottlieb ()

No 2018, Economics Working Paper Series from University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract: We exploit the quasi-random allocation of asylum seekers across Swiss cantons and the high frequency of national referenda to identify the causal effect of immigration on political outcomes in receiving countries. We find that the arrival of asylum seekers causes voters to increase their support for right-wing and conservative policies. However, this effect is driven by episodes of unusually high inflows of asylum seekers. Moreover, we find that for votes on immigration and refugee policy, the arrival of more asylum seekers shifts voters towards policies endorsed by conservative and centre-right parties but not towards positions backed by the rightmost anti-immigration party. In contrast, the shift towards the rightmost stances is sizeable in votes related to the welfare state, international integration, and the rights of minorities.

Keywords: Immigration; political preferences; re-distribution; quasi-random allocation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 F22 H80 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-mig and nep-pol
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:usg:econwp:2020:18

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