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South-South migration and elections: evidence from post-apartheid South Africa

South-South migration and elections: evidence from post-apartheid South Africa AbstractLittle is known about the political consequences of immigration in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we estimate the effect of exposure to immigration on election outcomes in South Africa. Our analysis is based on municipality panel data and an instrumental variable (IV) strategy exploiting historical migrant settlement patterns. We find that local immigration concentration has a negative impact on the performance of the incumbent African National Congress, whereas support for the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, is found to increase in municipalities with a larger immigrant presence. These effects hold regardless of the skill levels of immigrants in a municipality. In terms of mechanisms, competition over jobs and local public services as well as ethnic diversity and cultural factors influence how immigration affects election outcomes. These findings are robust to a broad range of sensitivity checks. They provide evidence that immigration can be a politically salient issue in migrant-destination Sub-Saharan African countries. They also show that immigration can affect election results even in contexts where there is no single issue anti-migrant party. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png IZA Journal of Development and Migration de Gruyter

South-South migration and elections: evidence from post-apartheid South Africa

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2020 Biniam E. Bedasso, Pascal Jaupart, published by Sciendo
ISSN
2520-1786
DOI
10.2478/izajodm-2020-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractLittle is known about the political consequences of immigration in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we estimate the effect of exposure to immigration on election outcomes in South Africa. Our analysis is based on municipality panel data and an instrumental variable (IV) strategy exploiting historical migrant settlement patterns. We find that local immigration concentration has a negative impact on the performance of the incumbent African National Congress, whereas support for the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, is found to increase in municipalities with a larger immigrant presence. These effects hold regardless of the skill levels of immigrants in a municipality. In terms of mechanisms, competition over jobs and local public services as well as ethnic diversity and cultural factors influence how immigration affects election outcomes. These findings are robust to a broad range of sensitivity checks. They provide evidence that immigration can be a politically salient issue in migrant-destination Sub-Saharan African countries. They also show that immigration can affect election results even in contexts where there is no single issue anti-migrant party.

Journal

IZA Journal of Development and Migrationde Gruyter

Published: Sep 2, 2020

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