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Attitudes towards immigrants, other integration barriers, and their veracity

  • Amelie F. Constant
  • Martin Kahanec
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study opinions and attitudes towards immigrants and minorities and their interactions with other barriers to minorities' economic integration. Specifically, the minority experts' own perceptions about these issues, the veracities and repercussions of unfavorable attitudes of natives are to be considered. Design/methodology/approach – Employing newly available data from the IZA Expert Opinion Survey 2007 main trends in the integration situation of ethnic minorities in Europe are depicted in a comparative manner. Findings – Robust findings show that: ethnic minorities face integration problems; natives' general negative attitudes are a key factor of their challenging situation; discrimination is acknowledged as the single most important integration barrier; low education and self-confidence as well as cultural differences also hinder integration; minorities want change and that it comes about by policies based on the principle of equal treatment. Research limitations/implications – Future research should not only investigate how negative attitudes are formed but also study their dynamics with respect to integration policies. Practical implications – Well-designed integration policies, that take the specific situation of the respective ethnic minority into account, are persistent and enforcement of anti-discrimination laws is desirable. Originality/value – Using a unique dataset, the innovative study is the first to gauge the perspectives of expert stakeholders and ethnic minorities on their integration situation and the main barriers that hinder it.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1/2 (May)
Pages: 5-14

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:1/2:p:5-14
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  1. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 424-433, 04-05.
  2. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
  3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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).
  5. Gang, Ira N. & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2002. "Economic Strain, Ethnic Concentration and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union," IZA Discussion Papers 578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
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