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Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: A Trade-Theoretic Approach

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  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Ettinger, Charles

Abstract

This paper uses a three-factor (capital, low- and high-skill labour), two-household (low- and high-skill individuals), two-sector trade model to analyse the determinants of voter attitudes towards immigration under direct democracy and identify factors that would be coherent with both the observed increase in the skilled-unskilled wage differential and the stiffening attitudes towards low-skill capital-poor immigration. If the import-competing sector is intensive in the use of low-skill labour, and capital is the middle factor, an improvement in the terms of trade or neutral technical progress in the exporting sector leads nationals to oppose immigration of capital-poor low-skill households. An increase in income inequality is also likely to stiffen attitudes towards this type of capital-poor, low-skill immigration prevalent in Europe until recently.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1877.

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Date of creation: May 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1877

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Related research

Keywords: direct democracy; Immigration; Trade Theory;

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Cited by:
  1. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Labor-Market Competition and Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," NBER Working Papers 6946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 5055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Yaya, Mehmet-Erdem, 2005. "Immigration, Trade and Wages in Germany," MPRA Paper 505, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2006.
  5. de Melo, Jaime & Miguet, Florence & Müller, Tobias, 2002. "The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Lessons from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 3449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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