Brothers or Invaders? How Crisis-Driven Migrants Shape Voting Behavior

49 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019 Last revised: 8 Jun 2020

See all articles by Sandra Rozo

Sandra Rozo

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: June 7, 2019

Abstract

We study the electoral effects of the arrival of 1.3 million Venezuelan refugees in Colombia as
a consequence of the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis. We exploit the fact that forced migrants
disproportionately locate in places with earlier settlements of Venezuelans after the intensification
of the crisis. We find that larger migration shocks increase voter’s turnout and shift
votes from left- to right-wing political ideologies. These effects are predominantly driven by
voter’s concerns on the economic effects of migrants as well as by a novel channel that we call
electoral manipulation, whereby political parties make the forced migration shock salient to
voters in order to demonize the political agenda of contenders.

Keywords: immigration, electoral outcomes, political economy

JEL Classification: D72, F2, O15, R23

Suggested Citation

Rozo, Sandra and Vargas, Juan F., Brothers or Invaders? How Crisis-Driven Migrants Shape Voting Behavior (June 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401036 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3401036

Sandra Rozo (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sandravrozo.com

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

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