Is this the real life or just fantasy? Refugee reception, extreme-right voting, and broadband internet
47 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018 Last revised: 14 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 14, 2020
How does the reception of refugees affect the electoral performance of extreme-right parties? Does the effect change across areas with heterogeneous access to broadband internet? Using data on Italian refugee centers and an instrumental variable approach based on pre-existing group accommodation buildings, we show that hosting refugees leads to a decrease in extreme-right parties' vote shares. We estimate that municipalities that opened a refugee center between the 2013 and the 2018 national elections experienced a change in the votes shares of extreme-right parties approximately 7 percentage points lower than municipalities that did not open a refugee center. The negative effect is stronger for municipalities that opened smaller refugee centers and with lower access to broadband internet.
Keywords: Political Economy; Migration; Refugee reception; Broadband internet
JEL Classification: C36, D72, J15, P16, R23
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