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Voting as a measure of social inclusion for natives_ immigrants

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					     Voting as a measure of social
         inclusion for natives,
     immigrants and descendants
              in Sweden

                   Pieter Bevelander
   International Migration & Ethnic Relations, Malmo
                            &
                     Ravi Pendakur
Graduate School of Public & International Affairs, Ottawa
Background

• Sweden extended local and provincial voting rights to
  immigrants with resident status in the 1970s.
• Policy rationale:
   – increase political influence, interest and self-esteem among
      foreign citizens.

• Citizenship acquisition:
   – Nordics – after 2 years
   – Refugees – after 4 years
   – All other immigrants – after 5 years




        Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Goals:

To what extent do differences in voting participation across
immigrant and Swedish-born categories exist?

    – are they explained by
       • Contextual factors (municipal characteristics)
       • Personal characteristics:
            – Demographic
            – socio-economic
            – human capital attributes and
       • immigration related factors

Is citizenship an important factor in determining voter participation?




        Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Previous Research

• Human capital attributes are key drivers of voting behaviour
   – Age, education and labour market characteristics are
     powerful determinants in explaining voting behaviour
     (DeSipio 1996; Bass & Casper 2001)

• Less research done on voter turnout and minority status.
   – Minorities have lower voting participation rates. Not always
     reduced over generations (Ramakrishnan & Espenshade
     2001)
   – Asians are less likely to vote than native-born (Bass &
     Casper 2001; Lien 2004)
   – Immigrants vote less. Canadian-born minorities display
     similar voting rates to majority Canadian-born (CES) (Chiu,
     et al 1994)




        Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Data

•   Swedish 2006 electoral survey
     – contains information on individual electoral participation for all those
       eligible to vote in national, provincial and municipal elections.
•   Matched to:
     – Registry data from Statistics Sweden, which contains information
       for every Swedish resident.
     – Municipal level data from census
•   Sample:
     – 70,932 residents in Sweden,
         • About a third are immigrants (23,678).
         • More than half of the immigrants (12,790) are not citizens but
            have the right to vote in municipal and provincial elections.




          Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
      Model

                                  •   Contextual Factors:
                                       – Log of city population
                                       – Log of immigrant population
                                       – % minorities on council
                                       – City employment rate
                                  •   Human capital attributes
Eligibility                            – Age
                                       – Education
Years since
                                             • In Sweden                     Voted in 2006
arrival       Citizenship                    • outside Sweden                municipal
Interaction                            – Marital status
between the                            – Labour market status                election
                                       – Income quintile
two
                                       – Housing tenure
                                  •   Minority identifiers
                                       – Immigrant status (age at immigration)
                                       – Immigrant status of spouse
                                       – Immigrant status of parents
                                       – Place of birth
                                       – Years since immigrating




              Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Results from OLS regression (all)
demographic characteristics


        Characteristics
                                                         Log of city pop
                                                        Log of imm pop

            City                                 % minorities on council
                                                  City employment rate
                                                          male(female)
                                                                  25-34
                                                                  35-44
                                     age < 25)


                                                                  45-54
                Demographic




                                                                  55-64
                                                                    65+
                                                                Married
                              marital status




                                                    Separated/divorced
                                (single)




                                                              Widowed
                                                     Parner is Swedish
                                                        with kids (none)

                                                                       -0.04 -0.02   0.00   0.02   0.04   0.06   0.08   0.10




     Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Results from OLS regression (all)
socio-economic characteristics
                                    Lower 2ndary

               (< 2ndary)
                                    Upper 2ndary
                                       Lower univ
                                       Upper univ
      Last level outside



                                 foreign schooling
                             Lower 2ndary outside
           Sweden




                             Upper 2ndary outside
                               Lower univ outside
                               Upper univ outside
                                        Quintile 1
               (no income)




                                        Quintile 2
                                        Quintile 3
                                        Quintile 4
                                        Quintile 5
      house)




                                 Own appartment
       (own




                                             Rent
                                                 -0.08   -0.04   0.00   0.04   0.08   0.12   0.16




    Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Results from OLS regression (all) immigrant
characteristics

                                                     Nordic

                                              EU not Nordic

                                             Rest of Europe

                                                 N. America
                             (Swedish)
       Country of birth




                                                 S. America

                                                Middle East

                                                      Africa

                                                     S. Asia

                                                     E Asia
                          Sweden
                          born in




                                         2 immigrant parents

                                          1 immigrant parent
       Citizen




                                                     Citizen

                                              Yrs in Sweden

                                                           -0.25 -0.20 -0.15 -0.10 -0.05 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25




     Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
     Results from instrumented regression (all
     immigrants including those born in Sweden)

                                                            Nordic

                                                     EU not Nordic

                                                     Rest of Europe
                   Country of birth

                                      (N. America)



                                                        S. America

                                                        Middle East

                                                             Africa

                                                            S. Asia

                                                             E Asia
                   Citizen




                                                            Citizen

                                                     Yrs in Sweden

                                                                  -0.10   -0.05   0.00   0.05   0.10   0.15   0.20




NOTE: filled in bars are significant at 0.05



                       Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
         Results from 9 instrumented regressions
         showing impact of citizenship acquisition

                       Nordic

            EU not Nordic

           Rest of Europe

                N. America

                 S. America

                        Africa

               Middle East

                      S. Asia

                       E Asia

                                 -0.2          -0.1   0    0.1     0.2   0.3   0.4   0.5   0.6

NOTE: filled in bars are significant at 0.05




                           Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden
Conclusions

•   After controlling for demographic and socio-economic
    characteristics, acquisition of citizenship makes a real difference to
    the probability of voting.

•   Years of residency:
     – Participation takes time – long term immigrants are more likely
       to vote than short term immigrants. But effect is small
       compared to that of citizenship.

•   If we want to encourage inclusion/integration policies for
    immigrants we should be really careful about changes to citizenship
    policy and immigration intake




         Social Inclusion and Voting in Sweden

				
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posted:4/7/2010
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