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National Debates, Local Responses: The Origins of Local Concern about Immigration in Britain and the United States

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  • Hopkins, Daniel J.

Abstract

Theories of inter-group threat hold that local concentrations of immigrants produce resource competition and anti-immigrant attitudes. Variants of these theories are commonly applied to Britain and the United States. Yet the empirical tests have been inconsistent. This paper analyses geo-coded surveys from both countries to identify when residents’ attitudes are influenced by living near immigrant communities. Pew surveys from the United States and the 2005 British Election Study illustrate how local contextual effects hinge on national politics. Contextual effects appear primarily when immigration is a nationally salient issue, which explains why past research has not always found a threat. Seemingly local disputes have national catalysts. The paper also demonstrates how panel data can reduce selection biases that plague research on local contextual effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Hopkins, Daniel J., 2011. "National Debates, Local Responses: The Origins of Local Concern about Immigration in Britain and the United States," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 499-524, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:bjposi:v:41:y:2011:i:03:p:499-524_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Jennifer Byrne & Gregory C. Dixon, 2016. "Just Not Like Us: The Interactive Impact of Dimensions of Identity and Race in Attitudes towards Immigration," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-22, October.
    2. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:218-250 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Italo Colantone & Piero Stanig, 2016. "Global Competition and Brexit," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1644, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    4. Markaki, Yvonni, 2012. "Sources of anti-immigration attitudes in the United Kingdom: the impact of population, labour market and skills context," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. repec:zbw:espost:171965 is not listed on IDEAS

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