The Political Effects of Immigration: Culture or Economics?
Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
We review the growing literature on the political economy of immigration. First, we discuss the effects of immigration on a wide range of political and social outcomes. The existing evidence suggests that immigrants often, but not always, trigger backlash, increasing support for anti-immigrant parties and lowering preferences for redistribution and diversity among natives. Next, we unpack the channels behind the political effects of immigration, distinguishing between economic and non-economic forces. In examining the mechanisms, we highlight important mediating factors, such as misperceptions, the media, and the conditions under which inter-group contact occurs. We also outline promising avenues for future research.