Can a small scale inflow of migrants affect electoral outcomes? We study whether the relocation of migrants from the Calais “Jungle” to temporary migrant-centers (CAOs) in France affected the results of the 2017 presidential election. Using an instrumental variables approach that relies on the size of holiday villages present in municipalities, we find that the presence of a CAO reduced the vote share increase of the far-right party (Front National) by about 15.7 percent. These effects, which dissipate spatially and depend on city characteristics and on the size of the inflow, point towards the contact hypothesis (Allport (1954)).
political economy voting migration EU France migrants