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What Drives Individual Attitudes towards Immigration in South Africa?

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  • Giovanni Facchini
  • Anna Maria Mayda
  • Mariapia Mendola

Abstract

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 occupation based 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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Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Mariapia Mendola, 2013. "What Drives Individual Attitudes towards Immigration in South Africa?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 326-341, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:2:p:326-341
    DOI: 10.1111/roie.2013.21.issue-2
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    4. 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.
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    6. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Riccardo Puglisi, 2017. "Illegal immigration and media exposure: evidence on individual attitudes," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-36, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tiiu PAAS & Olga DEMIDOVA, 2014. "How people perceive immigrants’ role in their country’s life: a comparative study of Estonia and Russia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5, pages 117-138, December.
    2. Cooray, Arusha & Marfouk, Abdeslam & Nazir, Maliha, 2018. "Public Opinion and Immigration: Who Favors Employment Discrimination against Immigrants?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 175, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Jonathan Crush, 2014. "Southern hub: the globalization of migration to South Africa," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 8, pages 211-240, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Campo, Francesco & Giunti, Sara & Mendola, Mariapia, 2021. "The Refugee Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 14084, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Meseguer, Covadonga & Kemmerling, Achim, 2016. "What do you fear? Anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66302, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Steven Lawrence Gordon, 2017. "Shutting the Gates in South Africa: National Identification and Popular Attitudes towards Closing Borders to Immigration," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 108(6), pages 821-835, December.
    7. Hisahiro Naito and Mizuho Asai, 2018. "Did the Presence of Immigrants Affect Vote Outcome in the UK Brexit Referendum ?," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2018-003, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
    8. Sen Xue, 2018. "Does contact improve attitudes towards migrants in China? : Evidence from urban residents," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 26(2), pages 149-200, April.
    9. Cristina Cattaneo, 2016. "Opting in to Opt out? Emigration and Group Participation in Albania," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 1046-1075, December.
    10. d׳Hombres, Béatrice & Nunziata, Luca, 2016. "Wish you were here? Quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of education on self-reported attitude toward immigrants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 201-224.
    11. Eiji Yamamura & Inyong Shin, 2016. "Effect of consuming imported cultural goods on trading partners’ tolerance toward immigrants: the case of Japanese anime in Korea," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(4), pages 681-703, November.
    12. Augustin de Coulon & Dragos Radu & Max Friedrich Steinhardt, 2016. "Pane e Cioccolata: The Impact of Native Attitudes on Return Migration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 253-281, May.
    13. Braakmann Nils & Wildman John & Waqas Muhammad, 2017. "Are Immigrants in Favour of Immigration? Evidence from England and Wales," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, February.
    14. Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe & Legge, Stefan, 2017. "Quantifying Determinants of Immigration Preferences," Economics Working Paper Series 1710, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    15. Dalvai, Wilfried, 2016. "Urban cultural amenities and the migration of the creative class," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 143, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    16. Yamamura, Eiji & Shin, Inyong, 2014. "Effect of consuming imported cultural goods on tolerance for immigrants from trade partners: Case of Japanese anime in Korea," MPRA Paper 58467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Tiiu Paas & Olga Demidova, 2014. "What Explains People’S Attitudes Towards Immigrants? A Comparative Study Of Estonia And Russia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 94, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    18. Pascal Jaupart, 2018. "Divided island: Haitian immigration and electoral outcomes in the Dominican Republic," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 951-999.
    19. Lewis S. Davis & Sumit S. Deole, 2015. "Immigration, Attitudes and the Rise of the Political Right: The Role of Cultural and Economic Concerns over Immigration," CESifo Working Paper Series 5680, CESifo.
    20. Francesco Campo & Sara Giunti & Mariapia Mendola, 2020. "The Political Impact of Refugee Migration: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy," Working Papers 456, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics.
    21. Alexandra Doyle & Amos C Peters & Asha Sundaram, 2014. "Skills mismatch and informal sector participation among educated immigrants: Evidence from South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 137, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    22. Steven Lawrence Gordon, 2018. "Understanding Evaluations of Foreigners in Modern South Africa: The Relationship Between Subjective Wellbeing and Xenophobia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 545-566, February.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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