New publication: “Ethnic Enclaves, Self-employment, and the Economic Performance of Refugees: Evidence from a Swedish Dispersal Policy”

The CONPOL team are pleased to announce a new publication in International Migration Review: “Ethnic Enclaves, Self-employment, and the Economic Performance of Refugees: Evidence from a Swedish Dispersal Policy”. This article estimates the causal effect of residential concentration of co-ethnics (ethnic enclaves) on the probability to start a business among refugees in Sweden. Results indicate that the share of self-employed co-ethnics in the port of entry municipality increases refugees’ probability of entry into self-employment, while the actual share of local co-ethnics has no effect or, in some cases, a negative effect. The results support the conclusion that skills and resources within the local ethnic enclave, particularly skills relevant for self-employment, are crucial for generating new entry into self-employment for refugees, while simply more co-ethnics, plausibly increasing an ethnic market’s size, are of less importance. Moreover, the results suggest that being placed with a larger share of self-employed co-ethnics is negatively related to refugees’ long-term disposable income; however, assuming there is no or little selection of high-ability refugees into self-employment, this negative relationship can be counteracted by the choice of self-employment. The study adds new knowledge on the arguably crucial topic of socio-economic integration of an important group of international migrants — namely, refugees.

New publication: “Parents, Peers, and Politics: The Long-term Effects of Vertical Social Ties”

The CONPOL team are pleased to announce a new publication in Quarterly Journal of Political Science: “Parents, Peers, and Politics: The Long-term Effects of Vertical Social Ties”.  We examine how one’s adult political participation is affected by having social ties to a politician during adolescence. Specifically, we estimate the long-term effect of having had a classmate during upper secondary school whose parent was running for office on future voter turnout and the likelihood of running for and winning political office. We use unique Swedish population-wide administrative data and find that students in school classes with a larger number of politically active parents are more politically active as adults, bothin terms of voting and political candidacy. Our results suggest that the effect of vertical social ties is predominantly mediated by indirect links between the politician and the student via the children of politicians. Moreover, we show that the strength of these mobilizing effects depends on the individual’s basic predisposition to engage in different types of political activities.

Podcast discussing CONPOL research

A recent episode of the popular Swedish podcast “Det politiska spelet” included a discussion about two CONPOL studies on the relationship between sibling order and political participation. In the first study, accepted for publication in British Journal of Political Science we show that sibling order is related to voter turnout in Norway and Sweden. In the second study we instead focus on political candidacy in s single country – Sweden – and show that earlier born siblings are more likely to run for and win political office. You can listen to the podcast epidode here. A short interview about the two studies also appeared in the news outlet Dagens Samhälle.

New publication: “Practice makes voters? Effects of student mock election on turnout.”

The CONPOL team are pleased to announce a new publication in Politics: “Practice makes voters? Effects of student mock election on turnout”.  Student mock elections are conducted in schools around the world in an effort to increase political interest and efficacy among students. There is, however, a lack of research on whether  mock elections in schools enhance voter turnout in real elections. In this article, we examine whether the propensity to vote in Swedish elections is higher among young people who have previously experienced a student mock election. The analysis is based on unique administrative population-wide data on turnout in the Swedish 2010 parliamentary election and the 2009 European Parliament election. Our results show that having experienced a mock election as a student does not increase the likelihood of voting in subsequent real elections. This result holds when we study both short- and long-term effects, and when we divide our sample into different parts depending on their socio-economic status and study each part separately.

Successful VR grant proposal!

CONPOL PI Sven Oskarsson together with CONPOL member Rafael Ahlskog received a 13 MSEK grant from VR (the Swedish Research Council) for a project with the title: “The genetics of life course outcomes: Leveraging new methods to advance social-science genomics”. The departure point of thi sproject is a fundermental question: Why are some people more highly educated, healthier and, in general, happier than others? Understanding the origins of social and economic inequalities in life course outcomes between individuals is fundamental to the social sciences. Recent research demonstrates that these complex social traits, apart from environmental determinants, are also influenced by genetics. Moreover, it is likely that the genetic influences vary across social circumstances: genes and environment interact. This project aims at developing an international and interdisciplinary research environment at the forefront of social science genomics. By leveraging the increasing availability of genetic data combined with register and survey data, we intend to increase the understanding of three broad classes of life course outcomes: (i) education and labor market outcomes, (ii) social and political behaviors and (iii) health-related behaviors and outcomes. The project has three aims. First, we will perform genome-wide association studies of several new outcomes. Second, to reduce barriers to entry for researchers in the wider social science field interested in using genomic data in their research, we will construct a repository for polygenic scores for several major social-scientific surveys. Third, we intend to maintain and develop this interdisciplinary research environment by providing opportunities for a number of postdocs and PhD students to establish themselves in the social genomic research field. You can find more information about the project here.

The project is closely related to some of the major themes in the CONPOL framework, especially questions regarding how political engagement is shaped within the family context, and will be carried out in collaboration with several of the CONPOL team members.