We examine whether electoral preferences depend on a community's population size, studying post-WWII Baden-Württemberg in Southwest Germany. Our identification strategy exploits the fact that the French administration zone prohibited German expellees from entering, contrary to the contiguous American zone. Population size positively predicts voting for the Social Democrats (the party advocating substantial government involvement in practically all domains) and negatively predicts voting for the Christian Democrats (the small-government party advocating free-market policies). Results are neither driven by pre-existing voting patterns, religious compositions, location- and time-specific unobservables nor other measurable cultural, demographic, economic or political characteristics. Alternative explanations pertaining to expellee voting behavior or a backlash of natives against expellees appear unlikely -- population size prevails as a predominant voting predictor.
|Date made available||30 May 2023|