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Selected Publications

Guy GrossmanYang-Yang Zhou

(2023). “When Refugee Presence Increases Incumbent Support Through Development.” OSF Preprints. October 7. doi:10.31219/

Studies of higher-income democracies find that the growing presence of refugees has generally been met with electoral backlash, with voters punishing incumbents and increasing support for far-right parties. Yet there is a dearth of studies on the political consequences of refugee-hosting in low-income countries, where the vast majority of refugees reside. Theoretically, we discuss why findings from high-income countries may not generalize, and we offer an alternative framework rooted in the context of low-income countries. We then test our framework empirically in Uganda, one of the largest and more inclusive refugee-hosting countries. Combining information on refugee settlements with four waves of national elections data, we find that an increase in refugee presence leads to a significant increase in incumbent support. National survey data coupled with panel data on healthcare, schools, roads, and nighttime lights suggest that the mechanism is positive externalities of inclusive refugee-hosting and aid on local public goods.