Finding the Warmth of Other Suns? Refugee Reception, Extreme Votes and Hate Crimes
28 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 2, 2018
Does refugee reception lead to more hate crimes against foreigners? What is the impact of refugee reception on extreme-right voting and which role does the media play in the transmission? Using data on Italian SPRAR refugee centres we show that the reception of refugees across Italian municipalities leads to a decrease in extreme-right voting and hate crimes against foreigners. We analyze which role media coverage can play in the transmission. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that the for the average assignment of 15 refugees per municipality the growth in vote shares for the extreme-right parties is decreased by 12.5 percentage points, which amounts to 2.25 percentage points looking at differences in vote shares. We also find that the hosting of 50 refugees leads to a reduction of about one hate crime over the period between 2013 and 2017. The effect on extreme voting is mainly driven by municipalities where local newspapers are less biased against migrants, where sport newspapers distribution is lower and where the local population has lower misperceptions of the presence of migrants.
Keywords: Political Economy, Migration, Italy, Migrants
JEL Classification: C36, D72, J15, P16, R23
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