Finding the Warmth of Other Suns? Refugee Reception, Extreme Votes and Hate Crimes
38 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018 Last revised: 13 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 13, 2019
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 and specifically internet 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.
Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that doubling the number of refugees hosted reduces the growth rate in the vote shares for the extreme-right parties by 9 per cent (about 1.6 p.p). We also find that increasing by 1 per cent the number of refugees hosted leads to a reduction of about 19 per cent in the change in hates crime over the period between 2013 and 2017. The effect on extreme voting is mainly driven by municipalities which have less internet access, hence have presumably more access to traditional vs. digital media.
Keywords: Political Economy, Migration, Italy, Migrants
JEL Classification: C36, D72, J15, P16, R23
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