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Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration

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  • Mayda, Anna Maria

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes both economic and non-economic determinants of attitudes towards immigrants, within and across countries. The two individual-level survey data sets used, covering a wide range of developed and developing countries, make it possible to test for interactive effects between individual characteristics and country-level attributes. In particular, trade and labour economics theories of labour markets predict that the correlation between pro-immigration attitudes and individual skill should be related to the skill composition of natives relative to immigrants in the destination country. Skilled individuals should favour immigration in countries where natives are more skilled than immigrants and oppose it in the other countries. Results based on both direct and indirect measures of the relative skill composition of natives to immigrants are consistent with these predictions. Individual skill and pro-immigration attitudes are positively correlated in countries where the skill composition of natives relative to immigrants is high. Individuals with higher levels of skill are more likely to be pro-immigration in high per capita GDP countries and less likely in low per capita GDP countries. Non-economic variables also appear to be correlated with immigration attitudes but they don’t seem to alter significantly the results on the economic explanations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5055.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5055

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Keywords: immigration attitudes; international migration; political economy;

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References

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  1. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Gabriele Orcalli, 2007. "Constitutional choice and European immigration policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-20, March.
  2. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2007. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 009, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.

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