The mobilizing potential of mass migration: Experimental evidence from Honduras


University of Denver

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


January 31, 2023


Can mass migration foster public support for anti-government demonstrations? Scholarly research has produced mixed results on the effect of emigration on political protests and mobilization. In this paper, we focus on whether the framing of migration as a private or public act influences support for and participation in protests. Using a survey experiment conducted in Honduras, we assess how the migrant caravan, framed as a public exit, affected public opinion about protests in 2021. We find that a private framing of migration is more likely to produce support for protests. The treatment effects are stronger when respondents have strong disapproval of the incumbent, live close to a highway, and lack transnational linkages. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the circumstances under which migration serves as a safety valve to reduce dissidence, and when it has a backlash effect, contributing to anti-government mobilization.

BibTeX citation

    Author = {Jesse Acevedo and Francisca Castro},
    Note = {Working paper},
    Title = {The mobilizing potential of mass migration: Experimental evidence from Honduras},
    Year = {2022}}