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Three Essays on the Political Consequences of International Migration

Lim, Junghyun (2021) Three Essays on the Political Consequences of International Migration. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Over the last few decades, the flow of international migration has increased steadily, and Europe is no exception. At the same time, immigration has become more politically salient in Europe. This growing volume of migration and the politicization of immigration raise a series of questions. Who stands to benefit or be disadvantaged by the politicization of immigration? What are the implications of the large-scale migration for sending countries? The three essays of this dissertation explore different aspects of these questions.

In the first paper, I explore the political attributes of emigrants and how their exit affects the distribution of voters in their home countries, focusing on Eastern Europe, where the number of emigrants has been increasing since the EU enlargement. I find that emigrants from Eastern Europe tend to be younger, highly educated, and politically more progressive, hence the support for far-right parties is higher in regions with higher emigration rates.

In the second paper, I explore how political environments in host countries influence immigrants’ political attitudes. Migrants’ experiences vary by the political environments in host countries. When immigrants experience hostilities toward them, they likely become dissatisfied with the political system of host countries. Using the various kinds of data from 10 Western European countries, I find that when immigrants live in regions with high support for far-right parties, they become more skeptical regarding democracy.
In the last paper, I explore how the growing salience of immigration affects parties’ welfare policy. The increasing salience of immigration creates a challenge for left-wing parties. Conventionally, left-wing parties are committed to welfare expansion and pro-immigration policies. Yet, left-wing parties rely on two different groups of constituents. While socially liberal constituents tend to be pro-immigrant, the constituents with low-income tend to be anti-immigrant. Given this dilemma, when immigration becomes salient, parties need to adjust their policy to maximize their vote share. I find that when immigration becomes salient and voters with anti-immigration views are disproportionately more from the low-income segment of the population, center-left parties tend to converge to a more conservative welfare policy position.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lim, Junghyunjul95@pitt.edujul95
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHays, Judejch61@pitt.edujch61
Committee MemberAklin, Michaëlaklin@pitt.eduaklin
Committee MemberOwen, Ericaericaowen@pitt.eduericaowen
Committee MemberSpoon, Jae-Jaesponnj@pitt.eduspoonj
Date: 12 October 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 July 2021
Approval Date: 12 October 2021
Submission Date: 5 August 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 114
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: International migration, Immigration, emigration, Radical right-wing populism
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2021 12:55
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 12:55


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