The Refugee Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy

59 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021

See all articles by Francesco Campo

Francesco Campo

University of Milan Bicocca

Sara Giunti

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Abstract

This paper examines how the 2014-2017 'refugee crisis' in Italy affected voting behaviour and the rise of right-wing populism in national Parliamentary elections. We collect unique administrative data throughout the crisis and leverage exogenous variation in refugee resettlement across Italian municipalities induced by the Dispersal Policy. We find a positive and significant effect of the share of asylum seekers on support for radical-right anti-immigration parties. The effect is heterogeneous across municipality characteristics, yet robust to dispersal policy features. We provide causal evidence that the anti-immigration backlash is not rooted in adverse economic effects, while it is triggered by radical-right propaganda.

JEL Classification: D72, F22, O15, P16

Suggested Citation

Campo, Francesco and Giunti, Sara and Mendola, Mariapia and Mendola, Mariapia, The Refugee Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14084, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780450

Francesco Campo (Contact Author)

University of Milan Bicocca ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1
Milan, MI Milan 20126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.unimib.it/francesco-campo

Sara Giunti

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES) ( email )

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

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