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The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration

  • O'Rourke, Kevin H.
  • Sinnott, Richard

The paper uses a cross-country dataset to investigate the determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration. There are three main conclusions. The first is that attitudes towards immigration are not a function of economic interests alone; rather, they also reflect nationalist sentiment among respondents. The second is that for labour market participants, standard economic theory does a good job of predicting individual attitudes towards immigration. The high-skilled are less opposed to immigration than the low-skilled, and this effect is greater in richer countries than in poorer countries, consistent with Heckscher-Ohlin theory; and in more equal countries than in more unequal ones (consistent with the Borjas theory of immigrant self-selection). On the other hand, non-economic factors are much more important in determining the attitudes of those not in the labour force.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 838-861

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:22:y:2006:i:4:p:838-861
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