University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Land Economy Seminars Michaelmas 2020 > Do far-right mayors increase the probability of hate-crimes? Evidence from Italy         

Do far-right mayors increase the probability of hate-crimes? Evidence from Italy         

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I investigate whether the mayor’s political ideology impact the probability that a hate crime occurs in the Italian municipalities. I assemble a dataset of local elections from 2008 to 2018 and I focus on those won or lost with a small margin of victory by a far-right candidate. To detect episodes of hate crime, since an official dataset is missing in Italy, I use the data collected by Lunaria, a national NGO . Results show that in municipalities where an extreme-right mayor is in power, the likelihood of a hate crime occurring is significantly higher (around five percentage points). The effect of the far-right mayors on hate crimes is particularly strong in the first years of their mandate and persists if the most serious acts (physical assaults) are considered. The results are driven from municipalities with higher Internet penetration; I also find evidence that the appointment of a far-right mayor generates spillover effects in the surrounding municipalities, especially in areas where the presence of the far-right is recent.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Seminars Michaelmas 2020 series.

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