Documenting the Unauthorized: Political Responses to Unauthorized Immigration

26 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Nicole Rae Baerg

Nicole Rae Baerg

University of Essex

Julie L. Hotchkiss

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Myriam Quispe‐Agnoli

Mercer University

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Cultural prejudice rather than self interest is the conventional wisdom for why voters respond negatively to immigration. Using a new measure of unauthorized immigrants based on self‐reported invalid social security numbers, we show that voters’ responses are more nuanced than mere prejudice against minorities. Using county level data from the U.S. state of Georgia, we find that voters in counties with above median levels of unauthorized workers are more likely to support the Republican Party. We also find that wealthier counties and wealthier voters are most likely to respond negatively to the unauthorized. Our evidence warns against arguments that depict opposition to immigration as motivated solely by xenophobia and cultural fears among lower income Whites.

Keywords: Elections, Fiscal Redistribution, Immigration, International political economy, Macroeconomic political economy, Unauthorized immigration

Suggested Citation

Baerg, Nicole Rae and Hotchkiss, Julie L. and Quispe‐Agnoli, Myriam, Documenting the Unauthorized: Political Responses to Unauthorized Immigration (March 2018). Economics & Politics, Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp. 1-26, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3121443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecpo.12101

Nicole Rae Baerg (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Julie L. Hotchkiss

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )

Research Department
1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States
404-498-8198 (Phone)
404-498-8058 (Fax)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Myriam Quispe‐Agnoli

Mercer University

1400 Coleman Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30341-4155
United States

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