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Home | Events Archive | Webinar: The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States

Webinar: The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States

  • Series
  • Speaker(s)
    Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School, United States)
  • Field
    Empirical Microeconomics
  • Location
  • Date and time

    May 25, 2020
    16:00 - 17:00

We test the relationship between historical immigration to the United States and political ideology today. We hypothesize that European immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state, and that this had a long-lasting effect on the political ideology of US born individuals. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. First, we document that the historical presence of European immigrants is associated with more liberal political ideology and with stronger preferences for redistribution today among US born individuals. Next, we rule out that this correlation is driven by the characteristics of the counties where immigrants settled or other specific, socioeconomic immigrants' traits. Finally, we conjecture and show that immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state from their

countries of origin, and that these preferences have persisted until today.

Consistent with this hypothesis, our results are stronger when inter-group contact between natives and immigrants, measured with either intermarriage or residential integration, was higher. Our findings also indicate that immigrants influenced American political ideology during one of the largest episodes of redistribution in US history – the New Deal – and that such effects persisted after the initial shock (with Paola Giolano, UCLA)

Some information and suggestions:

  • If you want to attend this online seminar, you need to register here. You will then be sent by email the details of the zoom session.
  • Your microphone will be on mute upon joining the meeting, please leave it like that and unmute it only if you want to ask a question.
  • Asking questions: please just go ahead and ask questions in the “usual way” (ie, don’t use the chat unless you want to notify me/host of any problem related to seminar; Heather will not be checking the chat, just reacting to oral questions).
  • Please use the registration form to register for a Zoom bilateral with Marco on Monday. Note that slots are more limited than on a usual campus visit (and are open to UvA and VU as this is not a Rotterdam only seminar). If demand is high, meetings may be shorter than usual and priority will be given to PhD students and to colleagues for whom the meeting is more important/urgent. Therefore, please mention this briefly in your email, as well as availability on Monday 25.
  • Please register and request a bilateral before Wednesday 20 May, 15h00.