Do Far-Right Mayors Increase the Probability of Hate Crimes? Evidence From Italy
54 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Last revised: 28 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 31, 2020
Does the appointment of a far-right mayor affect the chances of hate crimes? In this paper, I investigate whether the mayors’ political ideology impacts on the probability of hate crimes against immigrants in Italy. I assemble a dataset of local elections from 2008 to 2018, and I focus on those won or lost with a tiny margin of victory by a far-right candidate. Results show that in municipalities where an extreme-right mayor is in power, the likelihood of a hate crime occurring is significantly higher: estimates indicate an increase in the yearly probability of a hate crime ranging from 4 to 5.4 percentage points. The effect of the far-right mayors on hate crimes is particularly strong in the first years of their mandate and persists if the most severe acts (damages and physical assaults) are considered.
Keywords: hate crimes, local politicians, close elections
JEL Classification: J15, J17, D15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation