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Illegal immigration and media exposure: evidence on individual attitudes

Author

Listed:
  • Giovanni Facchini

    (University of Nottingham
    Universita’ degli Studi di Milano
    CEPR
    CES-Ifo)

  • Anna Maria Mayda

    (CEPR
    CreAM
    LdA
    Georgetown University)

  • Riccardo Puglisi

    (LdA
    University of Pavia)

Abstract

Illegal immigration has been the focus of much debate in receiving countries, but little is known about the drivers of individual attitudes towards illegal immigrants. To study this question, we use the CCES survey, which was carried out in 2006 in the USA. We find evidence that—in addition to standard labor market and welfare state considerations—media exposure is significantly correlated with public opinion on illegal immigration. Controlling for education, income, ideology, and other socio-demographic characteristics, individuals watching Fox News are 9 percentage points more likely than CBS viewers to oppose the legalization of undocumented immigrants. We find an effect of the same size and direction for CNN viewers, whereas individuals watching PBS are instead more likely to support legalization. Ideological self-selection into different news programs plays an important role, but cannot entirely explain the correlation between media exposure and attitudes about illegal immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0095-1
    DOI: 10.1186/s40176-017-0095-1
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Illegal immigration; Attitudes; Preferences; Media;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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