Ethnic Diversity and Political Participation: The Role of Individual Income

47 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2018

See all articles by Giorgio Bellettini

Giorgio Bellettini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: December 11, 2017

Abstract

We exploit a unique dataset merging data on individual socio-economic characteristics and political participation in an Italian municipality to investigate the relationship between ethnic diversity in residential neighborhoods and individuals’ propensity to vote. We document a sizable negative impact of diversity on overall electoral turnout which reflects differential effects at the individual level, depending on household equivalent income. Specifically, we show that ethnic heterogeneity in the neighborhood reduces the political participation of the poor, while it fosters that of the more affluent. These results highlight a potential democratic deficit stemming from reduced and unequal electoral turnout in increasingly ethnically heterogeneous neighborhoods.

Keywords: ethnic heterogeneity, electoral turnout, income

JEL Classification: D720

Suggested Citation

Bellettini, Giorgio and Berti Ceroni, Carlotta and Monfardini, Chiara, Ethnic Diversity and Political Participation: The Role of Individual Income (December 11, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6772, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3109343

Giorgio Bellettini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

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I-40126 Bologna
Italy
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+39 051 2098040 (Fax)

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

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Bologna, 40126
Italy
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0039 51 221968 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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