Current Research Projects
"Finding the Warmth of other Suns? Refugee Reception, Extreme Votes and Hate Crimes" (joint with Matteo Gamalerio and Mario Luca)
Does refugee reception lead to more hate crimes against foreigners? What is the impact of refugee reception on extreme-right voting and which role does the media play in the transmission? Using data on Italian SPRAR refugee centres we show that the reception of refugees across Italian municipalities leads to a decrease in extreme-right voting and hate crimes against foreigners. We analyze which role media coverage can play in the transmission. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that the for the average assignment of 15 refugees per municipality the growth in vote shares for the extreme-right parties is decreased by 12.5 percent-age points, which amounts to 2.25 percentage points looking at differences in vote shares. We also find that the hosting of 50 refugees leads to a reduction of about one hate crime over the period between 2013 and 2017. The effect on extreme voting is mainly driven by municipalities where local newspapers are less biased against migrants, where sport newspapers distribution is lower and where the local population has lower misperceptions of the presence of migrants. [PDF] [SSRN]
Presentations (including scheduled): LIEPP (Paris).
"Dismantling the "Jungle": Refugee Relocation and Extreme Voting in France" (joint with Paul Vertier).
Can a small scale inflow of refugees affect electoral outcomes? If yes, do those effects have local spillovers? More specifically, what impact did the relocation of refugees from the Calais “Jungle” to temporary refugee-centres (CAOs) in France have on votes in favour of the right wing party “Front National” in the 2017 presidential election? We find that the presence of a CAO reduces the vote share increase of the Front National by about 13.3 percent compared to other municipalities. Given that we find no impact on local economic activity, those estimates point towards the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954). In order to estimate the impact of refugee relocation on political outcomes we use an instrumental variables approach that relies on the size of holiday villages present in municipalities. Since this initial holiday villages were determined historically, the exclusion restriction is arguably warranted. There is evidence that the effects on electoral outcomes spatially dissipate. Exploring some heterogeneous effects we find that negative effects on the vote share of the Front National are stronger in larger municipalities with a higher share of immigrants and a higher share of younger people. To the contrary, the negative effect is lower in cities which volunteered to welcome migrants, which received more of them, and which were in contact with refugees for a shorter period of time. [PDF] [SSRN] [Cesifo WP 6927]
Media Coverage: Wall Street Journal, Alternatives Economiques
Presentations (including scheduled): Collegio Carlo Alberto 11th VPDE PhD Workshop (Turin), Paris School of Economics Applied lunch seminar, Political Economy Workshop in Bruneck, AFSE yearly meeting in Paris, London School of Economics and Political Science, yearly ASWEDE meeting at Uppsala University, RES Junior Conference at the University of Sussex, 1st Polecon Workshop on Economic and Social Policies (Cesifo Munich), 11th Political Economy Workshop (TU Dresden), LIEPP (Paris).
"Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: Did immigration cause Brexit?"
Can immigration impact electoral outcomes and specifically, what impact did immigration have on the vote in favour of leaving the European Union (Brexit) in the UK? In particular, I focus on how the increase in Polish immigration, the major group of immigrants post 2004, affected votes in favour of leaving the EU. I find a percentage point increase in Polish immigration to the UK to have caused an increase in votes in favour of Brexit of about 2.72-3.12 percentage points, depending on the specification. To obtain exogenous variation in Polish immigration, I use a novel instrumental variables approach that relies on the fact that after WW2 Polish army officers fighting in the Royal Air Force were quasi randomly allocated to War Resettlement Camps (WRCs) all across the UK. Discussing potential mechanisms, I examine public opinion data in the British Election Study 2015 and find evidence of adversity towards immigration to be a root cause. Other considerations such as the National Health Service (NHS), incumbency and the general trust in politicians as well as the political institutions seem not to play a role. [PDF] [SSRN]
Winner of the Marcello de Cecco Prize in the History and Economics of Institutions. (Speech)
Media Coverage: Abruzzo News, Il Centro, Radio Radicale, Economia e Finanza Verde
Presentations (including scheduled): Sciences Po Paris, ECPR Standing Group in Paris, Collegio Carlo Alberto 10th VPDE PhD Workshop (Turin), Trade and Integration in a Time of Anti-Globalisation (Lund University), SITE (Stockholm), SDPE Doctoral Seminar (SSE, Stockholm), MicroWave (IIES, Stockholm).