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What Drives Individual Attitudes towards Immigration in South Africa?

  • Giovanni Facchini
  • Anna Maria Mayda
  • Mariapia Mendola

This paper empirically investigates the determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration in South Africa using the 1996, 2001 and 2007 rounds of the World Value Survey. The main question we want to answer is whether South African public opinion on migration is affected by the potential labor market competition of migrants towards natives. We investigate this issue by estimating the impact of survey respondents’ individual skill on their pro-migration attitudes. Our estimates show that the impact of individual skill – measured both with educational attainment and an occupationbased measure – is positive and significant in both 1996 and 2001. Given that in both years immigrants to South Africa are on average more skilled than natives, we conclude that the labor-market channel does not play a role in preference formation over immigration. What might explain the positive impact of individual skill are noneconomic determinants.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/10.1111/roie.2013.21.issue-2
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 326-341

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:2:p:326-341
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  1. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1768, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2008. "From individual attitudes towards migrants to migration policy outcomes: Theory and evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 651-713, October.
  3. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Riccardo Puglisi, 2009. "Illegal Immigration and Media Exposure: Evidence on Individual Attitudes," Development Working Papers 285, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "Why are people more pro-trade than pro-migration?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 160-163, December.
  6. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2542, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2012. "Immigration, Wages, and Compositional Amenities," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012013, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2011. "Do interest groups affect US immigration policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 114-128, September.
  9. Barry Chiswick & Timothy J.. Hatton, 2003. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J., 2007. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 399-442, April.
  11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  13. 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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