Political Backlash to Refugee Settlement: Cultural and Economic Drivers

Posted: 24 Jun 2023

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)

Giulia Tura

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 19, 2023

Abstract

The 2015 refugee crisis in Europe fueled anti-immigration sentiment in receiving areas, with potential unintended consequences for refugee integration. We investigate the heterogeneity of political backlash across Italian municipalities in the aftermath of the crisis and assess the role played by local conditions at the time of refugees’ settlement, distinguishing between baseline economic and cultural factors. By leveraging the quasirandom dispersal policy and using causal forests, we find that the impact of refugee exposure on anti-immigration backlash is significantly higher in more affluent areas, with more bonding social capital. The opposite holds in contexts where there is meaningful intergroup contact with former immigrants (e.g mixed marriages). We exploit this pattern of heterogeneity to evaluate a matching model to optimally assign refugees to locations and deliver policy implications for novel refugee resettlement schemes that minimize anti-immigration backlash.

Keywords: Refugee Social Integration, Dispersal Policy, Political Preferences

JEL Classification: J15, H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Campo, Francesco and Giunti, Sara and Mendola, Mariapia and Mendola, Mariapia and Tura, Giulia, Political Backlash to Refugee Settlement: Cultural and Economic Drivers (June 19, 2023). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 522, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4484183

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

Giulia Tura

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/giuliatura25/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
271
PlumX Metrics