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Immigration and Political Instability


  • For helpful comments we would like to thank the participants of a research seminar at the ANZSOG Institute of Governance at the University of Canberra and IOS/APB Summer Academy on Central and Eastern Europe “Recent Challenges in Migration Research: Economic and Broader Development Issues” at the Academy for Civic Education Tutzing. Suggestions by Ingo Isphording, Chris Ryan, Clas Weber, two anonymous referees and the editor Alois Stutzer led to significant improvements of the draft. Mavisakalyan thanks the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University for generous hospitality extended during the work on this study.



Immigration may adversely affect political stability if immigrants are perceived unfavourably by host country populations. Using a large sample of countries this study confirms that a higher immigrant share of a population is associated with decrease in the level of political stability. We further demonstrate that a higher immigrant share leads to increased military spending through the channel of political stability. The negative effect of immigration on political stability appears to be stronger in countries with assimilative citizenship laws. We account for the endogeneity of immigrant share by using an instrument constructed from gravity model estimates.