Refugee Shelters, Neighbourhood Quality and Electoral Outcomes in Germany

Jakob Hennig

December 18, 2018, 12:45–13:45


Room MF 323


Does refugee immigration affect the perceived quality of neighbourhood amenities, and is this an important factor in the opposition to immigration? In this paper, I use data from the online review site Foursquare to demonstrate neighbourhood change due to the establishment of a refugee shelter during the European refugee crisis. Existing places near a shelter become less likely to receive positive ratings, and there is a slight increase in the rate of businesses creation. Additionally, I show that the anti-immigrant German AfD party received a higher share of the vote where a refugee shelter was established. However, these appear to be two independent outcomes of immigration. Areas where the impact on ratings is larger do not experience a stronger increase in right-wing voting, which suggests that the measured decline in perceived quality is not the main mechanism through which shelters affect voting outcomes. The effect on ratings is also very local, while the effect on voting outcomes is significant even at a greater distance.


Jakob Hennig, Refugee Shelters, Neighbourhood Quality and Electoral Outcomes in Germany, IAST Lunch Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, December 18, 2018, 12:45–13:45, room MF 323.