Refugees, Right-Wing Populism and Propaganda: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy

56 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2022

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)

Date Written: April 7, 2022

Abstract

This paper examines how the 2014-2017 ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Italy affected voting behavior and the rise of right-wing populism in national Parliamentary elections. We collect novel administrative data across all Italian municipalities and leverage exogenous variation in refugee resettlement 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.

Keywords: Immigration, Refugee Crisis, Voting Behavior, Dispersal Policy, Propaganda

JEL Classification: D72; F22; O15; P16

Suggested Citation

Campo, Francesco and Giunti, Sara and Mendola, Mariapia and Mendola, Mariapia, Refugees, Right-Wing Populism and Propaganda: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy (April 7, 2022). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 495, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4077788

Francesco Campo

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 (Contact Author)

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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