Brothers or invaders? How crisis-driven migrants shape voting behavior

Sandra V. Rozo, Juan F. Vargas

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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 strategic electoral misinformation, whereby political parties make the forced migration shock salient to voters in order to demonize the political agenda of competitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102636
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Volume150
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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