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Prejudice and Immigration

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  • Paolo E Giordani
  • Michele Ruta

Abstract

We study immigration policy in a small open receiving economy under self-selection of migrants. We show that immigration policy choice affects and is affected by the migratory decisions of skilled and unskilled foreign workers. From this interaction multiple equilibria may arise, which are driven by the natives' expectations on the migrants' size and skill composition (and, hence, on the welfare effects of immigration). In particular, pessimistic (optimistic) beliefs induce a country to impose higher (lower) barriers to immigration, which crowd out (crowd in) skilled migrants and thus confirm initial beliefs. This self-fulfilling mechanism sustains the endogenous formation of an anti or pro-immigration "prejudice". These insights may help rationalize the cross-country variation in attitudes towards immigration and choices of immigration policy.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 122247000000002276.

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Date of creation: 28 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000002276

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  1. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Milo Bianchi, 2013. "Immigration Policy and Self-Selecting Migrants," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, 02.
  2. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Do immigrants cause crime?," PSE Working Papers, HAL halshs-00586864, HAL.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586864 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Self-Confirming Immigration Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3762, CESifo Group Munich.

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