Michael Dorsch

Disciplines: EconomyPolitical science
Title and home institution: Associate Professor of Economics, Central European University, School of Public Policy, Budapest
Category of Fellowship: Résidency research
Chair: A world in crisis – AMSE / Iméra Chair
Research program: Interdisciplinary Explorations
Residency length: February – July 2021

Research project

Asylum seekers, voters, and populists: The European refugee crisis in a domestic political context

Summary of the research project 

This project examines whether exposure to asylum seeking refugees has an impact on the political success of populist parties. We propose to investigate this question using data from Italian municipal elections. An issue is estimating such a relationship causally is that refugees may sort into municipalities that have polities and/or policies that are not hostile towards migration. To address this issue, we exploit a specificity of the process through which asylum seekers are allocated to reception centers in Italy, which ensures some degree of exogenous variation of asylum seekers across municipalities. Furthermore, we will explore heterogeneous effects with respect to the kinds of policies that are in place at the municipal level for integrating immigrants into society and labor markets.


Michael Dorsch is an applied economist with research and teaching interests in political economics and public economics. Employing formal theoretical modelling and data-driven empirical investigation, Michael’s work has appeared in leading academic journals across the quantitative social sciences. Current working papers and past publications can be accessed from the Research page of his personal website (https://sites.google.com/view/dorsch/research). Michael teaches courses in political economics, public sector economics, and applied econometrics at the Central European University in Vienna, Austria, and is a research affiliate at the Democracy Institute in Budapest, Hungary.

Appels à candidature

Les résidences de recherche que propose l’Iméra, Institut d’études avancées (IEA) d’Aix-Marseille Université, s’adressent aux chercheurs confirmés – académiques, scientifiques et/ou artistes. Ces résidences de recherche sont distribuées sur quatre programmes (« Arts & sciences : savoirs indisciplinés », « Explorations interdisciplinaires », « Méditerranée » et « Utopies nécessaires »).