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Labor Market Competition with Immigrants and Party Choice: Evidence From A Skill Cell Approach

Lecture
The CEU Campus
Monday, February 8, 2016, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

PERG lecture by  Prof. Henning Finseraas
(Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

February 8th, 2016, 1:30-3pm, location: tba

Labor Market Competition with Immigrants and Party Choice:
Evidence From A Skill Cell Approach

(co-authored with Marianne Røed and Pal Schøne)

 Labour market competition with immigrants is argued to play a limited role in understanding the political consequences of immigration. We challenge this position by pointing to important shortcomings with the operationalization of labour market competition in most of the existing literature. We rely on Borjas’ skill cell approach to incorporate that labour market competition is two-dimensional and depends on the combination of education level and potential experience in the labor market. By access to detailed administrative data covering the whole Norwegian population, we get a precise measure of voters’ exposure to labour market competition with immigrants, and relate this measure to voting behaviour in five national elections. We find evidence of a polarizing effect of immigration among voters experiencing negative wage effects from immigration. The polarizing effect points to the existence of a protectionist and a compensatory response to labour market competition with immigrants.

About the lecturer: Dr. Henning Finseraas is a Researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo. His research interests include the politics of the welfare state, immigration, electoral behavior, and labour economics. He has published in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, European Economic Review, and Electoral Studies.