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

79 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 2019

See all articles by Matteo Gamalerio

Matteo Gamalerio

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

Date Written: April 16, 2019

Abstract

Do electoral incentives affect immigration policies? I study this question in the setting of Italian municipalities making decisions about the reception of refugees. The localized control of the reception policy, combined with the exogenous timing of policy decisions and staggered elections, enables me to study the effect of electoral incentives on the reception of refugees. Although municipalities receive fiscal grants for hosting refugees, I find that the probability of opening a reception centre is 24 per cent lower for municipalities in the final year of the electoral term (i.e. just before new elections), compared to municipalities in other years of the term. The results suggest that electoral incentives may induce politicians to make decisions that are potentially detrimental from an economic perspective.

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

JEL Classification: R23, J61, D72, C23

Suggested Citation

Gamalerio, Matteo, Not Welcome Anymore: The Effect of Electoral Incentives on the Reception of Refugees (April 16, 2019). 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

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