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What Determines Attitudes to Immigration in European Countries? An Analysis at the Regional Level

  • Yvonni Markaki

    ()

    (Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex)

  • Simonetta Longhi

    ()

    (Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex)

Different disciplines within the social sciences have produced large theoretical and empirical literatures to explain the determinants of anti-immigration attitudes. We bring together these literatures in a unified framework and identify testable hypothesis on what characteristics of the individual and of the local environment are likely to have an impact on anti-immigration attitudes. While most of the previous literature focuses on the explanation of attitudes at the individual level, we focus on the impact on regional characteristics (the local context). Our aim is to explain why people living in different regions differ in terms of their attitudes towards immigration. We isolate the impact of regions from regressions using individual-level data and explain this residual regional heterogeneity in attitudes with aggregate level indicators of regional characteristics. We find that regions with a higher percentage of immigrants born outside the EU and a higher unemployment rate among the immigrant population show a higher probability that natives express negative attitudes to immigration. Regions with a higher unemployment rate among natives however, show less pronounced anti-immigrant attitudes.

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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 1233.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1233
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  1. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J., 2007. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 399-442, April.
  3. Correia, Mark E., 2010. "Determinants of attitudes toward police of Latino immigrants and non-immigrants," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 99-107, January.
  4. Francisco Herreros & Henar Criado, 2009. "Social Trust, Social Capital and Perceptions of Immigration," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 57, pages 337-355, 06.
  5. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 1998. "Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. István Kónya, 2005. "Minorities and majorities: a dynamic model of assimilation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1431-1452, November.
  7. B Bell & Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2000. "Wage Equations, Wage Curves and All That," CEP Discussion Papers dp0472, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Loris Vezzali & Dino Giovannini, 2011. "Intergroup contact and reduction of explicit and implicit prejudice toward immigrants: a study with Italian businessmen owning small and medium enterprises," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 213-222, January.
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