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Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration

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  • Mayda, Anna Maria

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes both economic and non-economic determinants of attitudes towards immigrants, within and across countries. The two individual-level survey data sets used, covering a wide range of developed and developing countries, make it possible to test for interactive effects between individual characteristics and country-level attributes. In particular, trade and labour economics theories of labour markets predict that the correlation between pro-immigration attitudes and individual skill should be related to the skill composition of natives relative to immigrants in the destination country. Skilled individuals should favour immigration in countries where natives are more skilled than immigrants and oppose it in the other countries. Results based on both direct and indirect measures of the relative skill composition of natives to immigrants are consistent with these predictions. Individual skill and pro-immigration attitudes are positively correlated in countries where the skill composition of natives relative to immigrants is high. Individuals with higher levels of skill are more likely to be pro-immigration in high per capita GDP countries and less likely in low per capita GDP countries. Non-economic variables also appear to be correlated with immigration attitudes but they don’t seem to alter significantly the results on the economic explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5055
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2010. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 95-136, February.
    3. Gabriele Orcalli, 2007. "Constitutional choice and European immigration policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-20, March.
    4. Calmfors, Lars & Dimdins, Girts & Sendén, Marie Gustafsson & Montgomery, Henry & Stavlöt, Ulrika, 2013. "Why do people dislike low-wage trade competition with posted workers in the service sector?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 82-93.
    5. Tim Krieger & Steffen Minter, 2007. "Immigration amnesties in the southern EU member states - a challenge for the entire EU?," Working Papers CIE 6, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    6. Brenner, Jan & Fertig, Michael, 2006. "Identifying the Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigrants: A Structural Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2306, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Munch, Jakob R. & Schroll, Sanne & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2006. "Attitudes Towards Immigration: Does Economic Self-Interest Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2283, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2007. "Civic Participation of Immigrants: Culture Transmission and Assimilation," MPRA Paper 4594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Fujita, M. & Weber, S., 2010. "Immigration Quotas in the Globalized Economy," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 7, pages 10-23.
    10. repec:zbw:rwidps:0047 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kugler, Adriana & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2008. "Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch," IZA Discussion Papers 3670, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Michael Fertig & Jan Brenner, 2006. "Identifying the Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigrants - A Structural Cross-Country Analysis," RWI Discussion Papers 0047, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    13. Lars Calmfors & Girts Dimdins & Marie Gustafsson Sendén & Henry Montgomery & Ulrika Stavlöt, 2012. "Why Do People Dislike Low-Wage Trade Competition with Posted Workers in the Service Sector?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3842, CESifo.
    14. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2006. "Migration and Foreign Direct Investment in the Globalization Context: the Case of a Small Open Economy," Development Working Papers 209, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    15. Thomas Osang & Shlomo Weber, 2017. "Immigration policies, labor complementarities, population size and cultural frictions: Theory and evidence," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 13(1), pages 95-111, March.
    16. Chong, Alberto & Gradstein, Mark, 2008. "What determines foreign aid? The donors' perspective," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 1-13, August.
    17. Osang, Thomas & Weber, Shlomo, 2016. "Immigration Policies, Labor Complementarities, Population Size and Cultural Frictions: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Kleemans, Marieke & Klugman, Jeni, 2009. "Understanding Attitudes Towards Migrants A Broader Perspective," MPRA Paper 19236, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration attitudes; international migration; political economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • 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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