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Understanding attitudes to immigration: The migration and minority module of the first European Social Survey

  • David Card


    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM))

  • Christian Dustmann


    (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London)

  • Ian Preston


    (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London)

Immigration control is an issue that figures prominently in public policy discussions and election campaigns throughout Europe. Although immigration may have positive effects on economic efficiency and growth in the receiving economy, it is often the negative aspects -or perceived negative aspects - of immigration that attract the most attention. In this paper, we use the immigration module of the European Social Survey (ESS), which we developed in collaboration with the ESS survey team, to investigate public opinions about immigration, and the various dimensions of economic, public and private life that individuals feel are affected by immigration. We show that there is substantial variation in the strength of anti)immigrant opinion across European countries, and that attitudes toward immigration also vary systematically with characteristics such as age, education, and urban/rural location. We propose possible interpretations of some of these regularities.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0503.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0503
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  1. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," NBER Working Papers 11547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Recent Immigrants: Unexpected Implications for Crime and Incarceration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 654-679, July.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1335-1374 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Gaston, Noel & Nelson, Douglas, 2000. "Immigration and Labour-Market Outcomes in the United States: A Political-Economy Puzzle," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 104-14, Autumn.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2004. "Is Immigration Good or Bad for the Economy? Analysis of Attitudinal Responses," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0406, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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