Bellettini, Giorgio Berti Ceroni, Carlotta Monfardini, Chiara
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper No. 6772
We exploit a unique dataset merging data on individual socio-economic characteristics and political participation in an Italian municipality to investigate the relationship between ethnic diversity in residential neighborhoods and individuals’ propensity to vote. We document a sizable negative impact of diversity on overall electoral turnout which reflects differential effects at the individual level, depending on household equivalent income. Specifically, we show that ethnic heterogeneity in the neighborhood reduces the political participation of the poor, while it fosters that of the more affluent. These results highlight a potential democratic deficit stemming from reduced and unequal electoral turnout in increasingly ethnically heterogeneous neighborhoods.