Stop Invasion! The Electoral Tipping Point in Anti-Immigrant Voting

40 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2019 Last revised: 6 Dec 2019

See all articles by Massimo Bordignon

Massimo Bordignon

Universita Cattolica; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Matteo Gamalerio

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Edoardo Slerca

University of Lugano

Gilberto Turati

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome

Date Written: December 5, 2019

Abstract

Why do anti-immigrant political parties have more success in areas that host fewer immigrants? Using regression discontinuity design, structural breaks search methods and data from a sample of Italian municipalities, we show that the relationship between the vote shares of anti-immigrant parties and the share of immigrants follows a U-shaped curve, which exhibits a tipping-like behavior around a share of immigrants equal to 3.35 %. We estimate that the vote share of the main Italian anti-immigrant party (Lega Nord) is approximately 6 % points higher for municipalities below the threshold. Using data on local labor market characteristics and on the incomes of natives and immigrants, we provide evidence which points at the competition in the local labor market between natives and immigrants as the more plausible explanation for the electoral success of anti-immigrant parties in areas with low shares of immigrants. Alternative stories find less support in the data.

Keywords: migration, extreme-right parties, tipping point

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Bordignon, Massimo and Gamalerio, Matteo and Slerca, Edoardo and Turati, Gilberto, Stop Invasion! The Electoral Tipping Point in Anti-Immigrant Voting (December 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449388 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3449388

Massimo Bordignon

Universita Cattolica ( email )

20123 Milano
Italy
+39-2-5836-3300/1 (Phone)
+39-2-5836-3302 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Matteo Gamalerio (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) ( email )

c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Edoardo Slerca

University of Lugano ( email )

Via Buffi 13
Lugano, TN 6900
Switzerland

Gilberto Turati

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome ( email )

Largo F. Vito, 1
Rome, 00168
Italy

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