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.