New Publication: “Workplace Contact and Support for Anti-Immigration Parties.”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in American Political Science Review: “Workplace Contact and Support for Anti-Immigration Parties.” How does an increased presence of immigrants in the workplace affect anti-immigration voting behavior? While cooperative interactions between natives and immigrants can reduce intergroup prejudice, immigrant coworkers might be regarded as a threat to native-born workers’ labor market position. We combine detailed Swedish workplace data with precinct-level election outcomes for a large anti-immigration party (the Sweden Democrats) to study how the share of non-Europeans in the workplace affects opposition to immigration. We show that the share of non-Europeans in the workplace has a negative effect on support for the Sweden Democrats and that this effect is solely driven by same-skill contact in small workplaces. We interpret these results as supporting the so-called contact hypothesis: that increased interactions with minorities can reduce opposition to immigration among native-born voters, which, in turn, leads to lower support for anti-immigration parties.

New publication: “Big Brother Sees You, but Does He Rule You? The Relationship between Birth Order and Political Candidacy.”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Journal of Politics: “Big Brother Sees You, but Does He Rule You? The Relationship between Birth Order and Political Candidacy.” While recent research finds strong evidence that birth order affects outcomes such as education, IQ scores, earnings, and health, the evidence for effects on political outcomes is more limited. Using population-wide data from Sweden, our within-family estimates show that firstborns are significantly more likely to run for and be elected to political office. In addition, for the males in our sample we test whether a number of potential mechanisms account for the relationship between birth order and political participation. Disconfirming our expectations, the birth order effects are only marginally smaller when controlling for occupational economic status, cognitive ability, and leadership skills. Our results suggest that big brother, or for that matter big sister, not only sees us; to a certain extent he or she also rules us.

New publication: “Economic Distress and Support for Radical Right Parties – Evidence From Sweden”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Comparative Political Studies: “Economic Distress and Support for Radical Right Parties – Evidence From Sweden.” This paper studies the effects of economic distress on support for radical right parties. Using Swedish election data, I show that one layoff notice among lowskilled native-born workers increases, on average, support for the Swedish radical right party the Sweden Democrats by 0.17–0.45 votes. The relationship between layoff notices and support for the Sweden Democrats is stronger in areas with a high share of low-skilled immigrants and in areas with a low share of high-skilled immigrants. These findings are in line with theories suggesting that economically distressed voters oppose immigration as they fear increased labor market competition. In addition, I use individual-level survey data to show that self-reported unemployment risk is positively associated with voting for the Sweden Democrats among low-skilled respondents while the opposite is true for high-skilled respondents, echoing the aggregate-level findings.

New publication: “Immigrant Political Representation and Local Ethnic Concentration: Evidence from a Swedish Refugee Placement Program”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in British Journal of Political Science: “Immigrant Political Representation and Local Ethnic Concentration: Evidence from a Swedish Refugee Placement Program.” This study leverages population registry data from Sweden to examine whether immigrants who live in areas with a high concentration of ethnic minorities are more or less likely to be nominated for political office. It exploits a refugee placement program in place in Sweden during the late 1980s and early 1990s that restricted refugees’ opportunities to freely choose their place of residence. The article presents evidence that immigrants who live in areas with a high ethnic density are less likely to be nominated for political office. The findings have important implications for local integration policies as well as refugee placement policies, as many countries consider local context when resettling refugees.

New Publication: “Selective abstention in simultaneous elections: Understanding the turnout gap”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Electoral Studies: “Selective abstention in simultaneous elections: Understanding the turnout gap.” If two elections are held at the same day, why do some people choose to vote in one but to abstain in another? We argue that selective abstention is driven by the same factors that determine voter turnout. Our empirical analysis focuses on Sweden where the (aggregate) turnout gap between local and national elections has been about 2–3%. Rich administrative register data reveal that people from higher socio-economic backgrounds, immigrants, women, older individuals, and people who have been less geographically mobile are less likely to selectively abstain.

New publication: “Uncovering the Source of Patrimonial Voting: Evidence from Swedish Twin Pairs”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Political Behavior: “Uncovering the Source of Patrimonial Voting: Evidence from Swedish Twin Pairs.” The boom in wealth inequality seen in recent decades has generated a steep rise in scholarly interest in both the drivers and the consequences of the wealth gap. In political science, a pertinent question regards the political behavior across the wealth spectrum. A common argument is that the wealthy practice patrimonial voting, i.e. voting for right-wing parties to maximize returns on their assets. While this pattern is descriptively well documented, it is less certain to what extent this reflects an actual causal relationship between wealth and political preferences. In this study, we provide new evidence by exploiting wealth variation within identical twin pairs. Our findings suggest that while more wealth is descriptively connected to more support for right-wing parties, the causal impact of wealth on policy preferences is likely highly overstated. For several relevant policy areas these effects may not exist at all. Furthermore, the bias in naive observational estimates seems to be mainly driven by environmental familial confounders shared within twin pairs, rather than genetic confounding.

New publication: “Migrating natives and foreign immigration: Is there a preference for ethnic residential homogeneity?”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Journal of Urban Economics: “Migrating natives and foreign immigration: Is there a preference for ethnic residential homogeneity?”. We study the migration behavior of the native Swedish population following refugee immigration, with a particular focus on examining whether there is support for an ethnically based migration response. Using rich geo-coded Swedish data, we account for possible endogeneity problems by combining policy-induced initial immigrant settlements with exogenous contemporaneous immigration as captured by refugee shocks. We find the same flight among all natives, irrespective of their parental foreign background. This suggests that “ethnic distance” to the new immigrants is not the dominant channel causing natives’ flight behavior. Instead, refugee immigration seems to lead to more socio-economically segregated neighborhoods.

New publication: “Intergenerational transmission of party affiliation within political families”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Political Behavior: “Intergenerational transmission of party affiliation within political families”. We investigate the intergenerational transmission of political-party affiliation within families with at least two politicians. We use Swedish registry data that covers all nominated politicians for the years 1982 to 2014, as well as their family ties. First, we demonstrate there is a strong link between individuals and their parents concerning party affiliation. We also find that this intergenerational transmission persists over generations and across siblings. Our second aim is to investigate the mechanisms behind this result, which we do by first discussing two hypotheses: the one concerns a socialization pathway, the other a materialistic one. We then bring these hypotheses to the data, and we find that the socialization pathway matters more for
intergenerational transmission.

New publication: “Big brother sees you, but does he rule you?”

The CONPOL team is pleased to announce a new publication in Journal of Politics: “Big brother sees you, but does he rule you?” While recent research finds strong evidence that birth order affects outcomes such as education, IQ scores, earnings, and health, the evidence for effects on political outcomes is more limited. Based on population-wide data from Sweden, our within-family estimates show that firstborns are significantly more likely to run for and be elected to political office. In addition, for the males in our sample we test whether a number of potential mechanisms account for the relationship between birth order and political participation. Disconfirming our expectations, the birth order effects are only marginally smaller when controlling for occupational economic status, cognitive ability and leadership skills. Our results suggest that big brother, or for that matter big sister, not only sees us; to a certain extent he or she also rules us.