How did the large asylum-seeker inflow to Germany in 2015 affect concerns about immigration? Using individual-level panel data for the years 2012–2018 and a policy that allocates asylum-seekers to districts, I identify the effect of exposure to asylum-seekers. In line with the contact hypothesis, living in a high refugee migration district reduced concerns about immigration by 3 pp. Alternatively, a 1 pp. increase in the share of asylum-seekers in the population reduced these concerns by 3.4 pp. The effect appears larger for right-leaning respondents and is driven by districts that do not host a large reception centre. However, the overall trend indicates that after 2015 concerns about immigration increased by about 21 pp. and support for extreme right-wing parties by about 1.7 pp. These trends show considerable heterogeneity for different demographic groups.
Gallegos Torres, Katia (2023), The 2015 refugee inflow and concerns over immigration, European Journal of Political Economy 78