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Illegal Immigration and Media Exposure: Evidence on Individual Attitudes

  • Giovanni Facchini


    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Università degli Studi di Milano, CEPR, LdA and CES-Ifo)

  • Anna Maria Mayda


    (Georgetown University, CEPR, IZA, CReAM and LdA)

  • Riccardo Puglisi


    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Università degli Studi di Pavia and LdA)

Illegal immigration has been the focus of much debate in receiving countries, but little is known about what drives individual attitudes towards illegal immigrants. To study this question, we use the CCES survey, which was carried out in 2006 in the United States. We find evidence that - in addition to standard labor market and welfare state considerations - media exposure is significantly correlated with public opinion on illegal immigration. Controlling for education, income and ideology, individuals watching Fox News are 9 percentage points more likely than CBS viewers to oppose the legalization of undocumented immigrants. We find an effect of the same size and direction for CNN viewers, whereas individuals watching PBS are instead more likely to support legalization. Ideological self-selection into different news programs plays an important role, but cannot entirely explain the correlation between media exposure and attitudes about illegal immigration.

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Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 285.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:285
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  1. Gerber, Alan & Karlan, Dean & Bergan, Daniel, 2006. "Does The Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," Working Papers 12, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  8. Dustmann Christian & Preston Ian P, 2007. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-41, November.
  9. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
  10. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  11. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Valentino Larcinese & Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder (Jr.), 2007. "Partisan bias in economic news: evidence on the agenda-setting behavior of U.S. newspapers," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25185, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0604, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  15. Puglisi Riccardo, 2011. "Being The New York Times: the Political Behaviour of a Newspaper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, April.
  16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:4:p:1191-1237 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jeffrey Milyo & Tim Groseclose, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," Working Papers 0501, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 25 Aug 2005.
  18. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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