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Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: a Trade-Theoretic Approach


  • Jaime MELO DE
  • Jean Marie GRETHER


This paper uses a three-factor (capital, low and high-skill labour), two-household (low and high skill individuals), two-sector trade model to analyse the determinants of voter attitudes towards immigration under direct democracy and identify factors that would be coherent with both the observed increase in the skilled-unskilled walye differential and the stiffening attitudes towards low-skill capital-poor immigration. If the import-competing sector is intensive in the use of low- skill labour, and capital is the middle factor, an improvement in the terms of trade or neutral technical progress in the exporting sector leads nationals to oppose immigration of capital-poor low-skill households. An increase in income inequality is also likely to stiffen attitudes towards this type of capital-poor. low-skill immigration prevalent in Europe until recently.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime MELO DE & BILAL & Jean Marie GRETHER, 1998. "Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: a Trade-Theoretic Approach," Working Papers 199805, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:73

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
    2. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 5055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Labor-Market Competition and Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," NBER Working Papers 6946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Yaya, Mehmet-Erdem, 2005. "Immigration, Trade and Wages in Germany," MPRA Paper 505, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2006.
    5. de Melo, Jaime & Miguet, Florence & Müller, Tobias, 2002. "The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Lessons from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 3449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • 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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