The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States

57 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Anna Maria Mayda

Anna Maria Mayda

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

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Walter Steingress

Government of Canada - Bank of Canada

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants. We find that an increase in the first type of immigrants decreases the share of the Republican vote, while an inflow of the second type increases it. These effects are mainly due to the local impact of immigrants on votes of U.S. citizens and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants. We also find that the pro-Republican impact of low-skilled immigrants is stronger in low-skilled and non-urban counties. This is consistent with citizens' political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places where low-skilled immigrants are more likely to be perceived as competition in the labor market and for public resources.

Keywords: Economic and Fiscal Channels, Electoral Effects, Immigration, Republican Party

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Mayda, Anna Maria and Peri, Giovanni and Steingress, Walter, The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States (April 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12848. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3159151

Anna Maria Mayda (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

Walter Steingress

Government of Canada - Bank of Canada ( email )

234 Wellington Street
Ontario, Ottawa K1A 0G9
Canada

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