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Drawbridges Down: Altruism and Immigration Preferences

Author

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  • Ole-Petter Moe Hansen
  • Stefan Legge

Abstract

This paper advances and empirically establishes the idea that altruism is an important determinant of individual preferences over immigration. Using data from the European Social Survey from 2014 and 2015, our results document that individual norms and values strongly shape preferences over immigration, even when controlling for expected costs and benefits from immigration. In particular, we find that altruistic attitudes significantly raise the support for all types of immigration while xenophobic views lower the support. A newly developed latent-factor model allows us to quantify and compare the relative importance of each determinant of immigration policy preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Ole-Petter Moe Hansen & Stefan Legge, 2016. "Drawbridges Down: Altruism and Immigration Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 6204, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6204
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6204.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yvonni Markaki & Simonetta Longhi, 2012. "What Determines Attitudes to Immigration in European Countries? An Analysis at the Regional Level," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1233, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Andreas Steinmayr, 2016. "Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right. (Unexpected) Results from Austria," WIFO Working Papers 514, WIFO.
    3. Mette Foged & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Immigrants' Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 1-34, April.
    4. Poutvaara, Panu & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2018. "Bitterness in life and attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 471-490.
    5. George J. Borjas & Joan Monras, 2017. "The labour market consequences of refugee supply shocks," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 361-413.
    6. Nicola Mastrorocco & Luigi Minale, 2016. "Information and Crime Perceptions: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1601, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    7. Barone, Guglielmo & D'Ignazio, Alessio & de Blasio, Guido & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2016. "Mr. Rossi, Mr. Hu and politics. The role of immigration in shaping natives' voting behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect Of Immigration On Productivity: Evidence From U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 348-358, February.
    9. Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe & Legge, Stefan, 2015. "Trading off Welfare and Immigration in Europe," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 22/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    10. Murard, Elie, 2017. "Less Welfare or Fewer Foreigners? Immigrant Inflows and Public Opinion towards Redistribution and Migration Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 10805, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Mitchell Hoffman, 2011. "Does Higher Income Make You More Altruistic? Evidence from the Holocaust," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 876-887, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Helmut Rainer & Clara Albrecht & Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Joachim Ragnitz, 2018. "Deutschland 2017 - Studie zu den Einstellungen und Verhaltensweisen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger im vereinigten Deutschland," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 96.
    2. Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe & Legge, Stefan, 2017. "Quantifying Determinants of Immigration Preferences," Economics Working Paper Series 1710, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; Europe; immigration; racism; xenophobia;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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