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No country for asylum seekers? How short-term exposure to refugees influences attitudes and voting behavior in Hungary

Dates:
  • Tue 11 Dec 2018 17.15 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-12-11 17:15 2018-12-11 19:00 Europe/Paris No country for asylum seekers? How short-term exposure to refugees influences attitudes and voting behavior in Hungary

How does exposure to refugees influence political behavior? We present evidence from Hungary, a country with widespread anti-immigration attitudes, that short term exposure during the 2015 refugee crisis predicts anti-refugee voting. We code exposure to refugees at the municipality level using state media, an independent online news site, and data from journalists on social media. Towns through which refugees traveled showed significantly higher anti-refugee voting in a national referendum on resettlement in 2016. The effect, which we estimate between 1.7 and 3.6%, decreases sharply with distance from points of exposure. Using a difference-in-differences model, we find that the far-right opposition Jobbik party gained votes in these towns, while the governing right-wing Fidesz party lost votes in the subsequent parliamentary elections, suggesting incumbents are punished by voters skeptical of immigration regardless of their policy position. Survey data supports this finding of a competition within the right, as individuals in exposed towns are more fearful of immigrants and support more restrictive policies, though only if they identify with right-wing parties.

Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

How does exposure to refugees influence political behavior? We present evidence from Hungary, a country with widespread anti-immigration attitudes, that short term exposure during the 2015 refugee crisis predicts anti-refugee voting. We code exposure to refugees at the municipality level using state media, an independent online news site, and data from journalists on social media. Towns through which refugees traveled showed significantly higher anti-refugee voting in a national referendum on resettlement in 2016. The effect, which we estimate between 1.7 and 3.6%, decreases sharply with distance from points of exposure. Using a difference-in-differences model, we find that the far-right opposition Jobbik party gained votes in these towns, while the governing right-wing Fidesz party lost votes in the subsequent parliamentary elections, suggesting incumbents are punished by voters skeptical of immigration regardless of their policy position. Survey data supports this finding of a competition within the right, as individuals in exposed towns are more fearful of immigrants and support more restrictive policies, though only if they identify with right-wing parties.


Location:
Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Organiser:
Sophia Hunger
Valentim Vicente

Speaker:
Theresa Elena Gessler (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)
 
 

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