A gate to the world for all? The reaction of neighborhoods in Hamburg to refugee housing

43 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2023 Last revised: 13 Mar 2024

See all articles by Marek Endrich

Marek Endrich

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 28, 2023


This paper analyzes the political reaction of residents to refugee housing in their neighborhood. The city of Hamburg, Germany, experienced between 2014 and 2017 large refugee inflows that required many new accommodations. Openings of refugee houses led to an increase of 0.9 percentage points in the vote share of right-wing anti-immigrant parties in a neighborhood. The negative reaction applies to reception centers and follow-up accommodations with different inhabitant compositions. It persisted longer for large houses and was stronger for multiple openings and in areas with worse economic conditions and many foreigners and migrants. The right-wing gains came with losses for the governing party. A matching estimation that accounts for an unbalanced distribution of houses across neighborhoods confirms the negative reaction. Voting gains around accommodations explain only a small part of the electoral success of right-wing parties, but the findings suggest giving more attention to the distribution and housing of refugees.

Keywords: migration, political economy, refugee housing, voting

JEL Classification: F22, D72, J15, H76

Suggested Citation

Endrich, Marek, A gate to the world for all? The reaction of neighborhoods in Hamburg to refugee housing (July 28, 2023). European Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4473114 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4473114

Marek Endrich (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, 1050

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