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

65 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017 Last revised: 3 Nov 2021

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: November 2, 2021

Abstract

Do electoral incentives affect immigration policies? Our model shows that politicians manipulate immigration policies for electoral reasons, and their behavior depends on the share of anti-immigrant voters and the level of electoral competition. Exploiting the Italian system for refugees' reception, we empirically show that electoral incentives reduce the probability of bidding for a refugee center by 24%, despite the economic benefits arising from these centers. High shares of extreme-right voters and low levels of electoral competition drive the effect. The results explain why it is difficult to reach an equal redistribution 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 (November 2, 2021). 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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