Local Government Efficiency and Anti-Immigrant Violence
39 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017 Last revised: 6 May 2018
Date Written: June 26, 2017
Communities provide a crucial experiential context for native-immigrant interactions, yet we know little about the impact of local government performance on shaping public responses to immigrants. Building on arguments considering efficient governments as critical factors in mitigating denizens’ political deprivation and social cohesion, we argue that efficient local governments were able to prevent anti-immigrant behavior in Germany during the large refugee intake in 2015. Using cost efficiency modeling to generate a measure of local government efficiency (LGE), we show that high LGE is associated with fewer incidents of anti-immigrant violence in Germany in 2015. Testing the broader implications of our theory, we employ longitudinal data on LGE of Dutch municipalities merged with police records of criminal offenses against immigrants (2012-2015). Results from wo-way fixed effects models show a systematic but modest, negative link between efficiency and violence. Our results suggest that improving local governance can have salutary benefits on inter-group relations.
Keywords: local government, efficiency, immigrant integration, Western Europe, refugee, violence, anti-immigrant attitudes
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