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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Public Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Public Economics, 166, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.07.012

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The effect of far right parties on the location choice of immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Public Economics
Volume166
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)12-26
Publication statusPublished
Early online date18/08/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Immigration has increasingly taken centre-stage in the political landscape. Part of this has been a rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties in a range of countries. Existing evidence suggests that the presence of immigrants generates an advantage for parties with anti-immigration or nationalist platforms. This paper explores a closely related but overlooked issue: how immigrant behaviour is influenced by these parties. We focus on immigrant location decisions in Northern Italy, an area that has seen the rise of the anti-immigration party Lega Nord. We construct a dataset of mayoral elections in Italy for the years 2002–2014 and estimate the effect of electing a mayor belonging to, or supported by, Lega Nord. Exploiting close elections in a regression discontinuity framework we demonstrate that the election of a Lega Nord mayor discourages immigrants from moving into the municipality. We also provide suggestive evidence that the effect is driven primarily by the anti-immigration politics of Lega Nord insofar as it is absent in the period before their adoption of an explicitly anti-immigration platform and is concentrated in smaller, less educated, municipalities.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Public Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Public Economics, 166, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.07.012