Brother or Invaders? How Crisis-Driven Migrants Shape Voting Behavior
53 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019 Last revised: 18 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 7, 2019
What explains voters' negative attitudes toward immigration? Self-interested voters care about their personal economic and social circumstances. Sociotropic voters display in-group bias and perceive migrants as threats to their customs and culture. We study the electoral effects of forced internal and international migration in Colombia to provide evidence on the relative importance of these two hypotheses. We exploit the fact that migrants disproportionally locate in places with earlier settlements of people from their place of origin. In line with the sociotropic hypothesis, we find that only international migration inflows increase political participation and shift votes from left- to right-wing ideologies. Also consistent with the sociotropic hypothesis, we show that these results are not accounted for by the observed changes caused by migration inflows on socioeconomic variables.
Keywords: immigration, electoral outcomes, political economy
JEL Classification: D72, F2, O15, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation