How Distributional Conflict over In-Kind Benefits Generates Support for Anti-Immigrant Parties

LIEPP/CEVIPOF seminar Septembre 11th 12:00 - 14:00
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

 LIEPP and CEVIPOF are glad to invite you to the seminar :

How Distributional Conflict over In-Kind Benefits Generates Support for Anti-Immigrant Parties

with Charlotte Cavaillé (Georgetown University)

[language: English]

 Tuesday September 11th 2018
12:00 - 14:00

Salle Percheron (98, rue de l'Université)

 

What role do economic concerns play in activating support for anti-immigrant parties? Previous research has hypothesized the existence of a welfare channel, in which citizens exposed to a decline in transfers will be more opposed to immigrants. However, evidence is conflicting. This paper makes two contributions. Theoretically, we highlight non-residual, in-kind welfare programs as especially prone to generating distributional conflict between immigrants and natives. Empirically, we leverage exogenous variation in the intensity of this conflict to identify its effect on electoral outcomes. We focus on Austria’s affordable housing program, which benefits a quarter of households. In 2006, a EU directive forced municipalities to open public housing to previously excluded immigrants. As we demonstrate, this reform increased support for anti-immigrant parties in affected municipalities. More broadly, our findings suggest that populist parties may have benefited from the recent confluence of austerity measures and concerns surrounding the congestion of in-kind benefits.

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