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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. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2009. "Immigration, Wages, and Compositional Amenities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0929, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Prachi Mishra, 2008. "Do Interest Groups Affects US Immigration Policy?," Development Working Papers 256, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  6. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "From Individual Attitudes towards Migrants to Migration Policy Outcomes: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R. & Hatton, Timothy J., 2002. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "Why Are People More Pro-trade Than Pro-migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
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