Local Government Efficiency and Anti-Immigrant Violence
The Journal of Politics, Forthcoming
60 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017 Last revised: 21 Feb 2019
Date Written: January 26, 2019
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 facilitating immigrant integration and mitigating denizens’ political deprivation, we argue that efficient local governments also play a significant role in reducing anti-immigrant behavior. Using cost efficiency modeling to generate a measure of local government efficiency (LGE), we show high LGE is associated with fewer incidents of anti-immigrant violence in Germany during its unprecedented refugee intake 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 two-way fixed effects models show a systematic, 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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