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Public Attitudes toward Immigration

Author

Listed:
  • Jens Hainmueller

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Daniel J. Hopkins

    () (Department of Government, ICC 681)

Abstract

Immigrant populations in many developed democracies have grown rapidly, and so too has an extensive literature on natives’ attitudes toward immigration. This research has developed from two theoretical foundations, one grounded in political economy, the other in political psychology. These two literatures have developed largely in isolation from one another, yet the conclusions that emerge from each are strikingly similar. Consistently, immigration attitudes show little evidence of being strongly correlated with personal economic circumstances. Instead, immigration attitudes are shaped by sociotropic concerns about national-level impacts, whether those impacts are cultural or economic. This pattern of results has held up as scholars have increasingly turned to experimental tests, and it fits the evidence from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Still, more work is needed to strengthen the causal identification of sociotropic concerns and to isolate precisely how, when, and why they matter for attitude formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Hainmueller & Daniel J. Hopkins, 2013. "Public Attitudes toward Immigration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1315, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1315
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    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_15_13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. 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.
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    5. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2009. "Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants? Evidence across Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 295-314, May.
    6. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, March.
    7. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Johanna Dunaway & Regina P. Branton & Marisa A. Abrajano, 2010. "Agenda Setting, Public Opinion, and the Issue of Immigration Reform," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(2), pages 359-378.
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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy J. Hatton, 2015. "Asylum Policy in the EU: the Case for Deeper Integration," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(3-4), pages 605-637.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration attitudes; political economy; political psychology; prejudice; cultural threat; public opinion;

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