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Public Attitudes toward Immigration

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Author Info

  • Jens Hainmueller

    ()
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Daniel J. Hopkins

    ()
    (Department of Government, ICC 681)

Abstract

Immigrant populations in many developed democracies have grown rapidly, and so too has an extensive literature on natives’ attitudes toward immigration. This research has developed from two theoretical foundations, one grounded in political economy, the other in political psychology. These two literatures have developed largely in isolation from one another, yet the conclusions that emerge from each are strikingly similar. Consistently, immigration attitudes show little evidence of being strongly correlated with personal economic circumstances. Instead, immigration attitudes are shaped by sociotropic concerns about national-level impacts, whether those impacts are cultural or economic. This pattern of results has held up as scholars have increasingly turned to experimental tests, and it fits the evidence from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Still, more work is needed to strengthen the causal identification of sociotropic concerns and to isolate precisely how, when, and why they matter for attitude formation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1315.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1315

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Keywords: immigration attitudes; political economy; political psychology; prejudice; cultural threat; public opinion;

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References

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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.
  2. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2007. "Rethinking the effects of immigration on wages," HWWI Research Papers, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) 3-8, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  3. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2007. "Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants? Evidence Across Countries," Development Working Papers, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano 233, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, 03.
  6. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others, EconWPA 0505013, EconWPA.
  7. Johanna Dunaway & Regina P. Branton & Marisa A. Abrajano, 2010. "Agenda Setting, Public Opinion, and the Issue of Immigration Reform," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(2), pages 359-378.
  8. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Timothy Hatton, 2012. "Asylum Policy in the EU: The Case for Deeper Integration," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2012016, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.

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