Political Hedgehogs: The Geographical Sorting of Refugees in Sweden

Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, Forthcoming

21 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2020

See all articles by Johan Wennström

Johan Wennström

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Ozge Oner

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS)

Date Written: March 24, 2020

Abstract

In sharp contrast to how admitted refugees are being placed in comparable European countries, refugees in Sweden have been disproportionately placed in peripheral and rural areas with high unemployment and rapid native depopulation where the prospects for integration, both socially and economically, are poor. We explore and evaluate some potential reasons for this outcome. Factors such as an intimidating political and intellectual climate in favor of receiving large numbers of asylum seekers and immigrants and the economic support given by the central government to municipalities that accept refugees are not sufficient to understand the actions of rural local governments. Instead, we argue that Tetlock’s fox/hedgehog model of predictive style may provide a useful approach for understanding the seemingly irrational actions of local politicians in rural and peripheral municipalities, and of other policymakers in other similar situations.

Keywords: Hedgehog/Fox Metaphor, Immigration, Political Judgment, Rational Choice, Social Capital, Urbanization

JEL Classification: J15, J61, O15, R58

Suggested Citation

Wennström, Johan and Oner, Ozge, Political Hedgehogs: The Geographical Sorting of Refugees in Sweden (March 24, 2020). Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3560348

Johan Wennström (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Ozge Oner

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

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