Not Welcome Anymore: The Effect of Electoral Incentives on the Reception of Refugees

66 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Feb 2023

See all articles by Matteo Gamalerio

Matteo Gamalerio

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Margherita Negri

University of St. Andrews

Date Written: January 24, 2023

Abstract

Do electoral incentives affect immigration policies? Exploiting the Italian system for refugees’
reception and data from Italian municipalities, we show that proximity to elections reduces
the probability that a municipality applies to host a refugee center by 26%, despite the
economic benefits arising from these centers. Low electoral competition and high shares of
extreme-right voters drive the effect. Our results are rationalized by a theoretical model and
can explain the unequal distribution of refugees across and within countries.

Keywords: Migration, reception of refugees, electoral incentives, fiscal grants

JEL Classification: R23, J61, D72, C23

Suggested Citation

Gamalerio, Matteo and Negri, Margherita, Not Welcome Anymore: The Effect of Electoral Incentives on the Reception of Refugees (January 24, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3035420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3035420

Matteo Gamalerio (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) ( email )

c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Margherita Negri

University of St. Andrews ( email )

The Gateway
North Haugh
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9RJ
United Kingdom

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