Andreas M. Wüst
A lasting impact? On the legislative activities of immigrant-origin parliamentarians in Germany

The Journal of Legislative Studies, 2014: 20, issue 4, pp. 495-515
ISSN: 1357-2334 (Print); 1743-9337 (Online)

The article analyses the degree of substantive representation by immigrant-origin MPs in Germany's national and state parliaments. To test the expectation that an immigration background increases the likelihood of engaging with migration-related topics, an analysis is undertaken of all parliamentary questions (PQs) formally asked by immigrant-origin MPs in Germany's national and state parliaments between 1987 and 2009. By controlling for several time-invariant and time-variant factors, the longitudinal analysis confirms that a visible immigration background results in asking more migration-related PQs. While several contextual, party-political and personal (career) factors influence the likelihood of asking such questions in parliament, there is no evidence for a decrease over time. Presence effects are significant and of lasting nature. This means that the parliamentary presence of immigrant-origin MPs with a visible background goes beyond sheer symbolic representation.