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Attitudes Towards Immigrants, Other Integration Barriers, and Their Veracity

  • Amelie Constant
  • Martin Kahanec
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

The paper studies opinions and attitudes towards immigrants and minorities and their interactions with other barriers to minorities' economic integration. Specifically, we consider the minority experts' own perceptions about these issues, the veracities and repercussions of unfavorable attitudes of natives. Employing newly available data from the IZA Expert Opinion Survey 2007 we depict main trends in the integration situation of ethnic minorities in Europe in a comparative manner. Using a unique dataset, this innovative study is the first to gauge the perspectives of expert stakeholders and ethnic minorities on their integration situation and the main barriers that hinder it. Robust findings show that ethnic minorities: face integration problems; natives' general negative attitudes are a key factor of their challenging situation; discrimination is acknowledged as the single most important integration barrier; low education and self-confidence as well as cultural differences also hinder integration; minorities want change and that it come about by policies based on the principle of equal treatment. Well designed integration policies that take the specific situation of the respective ethnic minority into account, are persistent and enforce anti-discrimination laws are desirable.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 812.

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Length: 12 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp812
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 47, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  7. Francisco Rivera-Batiz & Myeong-Su Yun & Ira Gang, 2002. "Economic Strain, Ethnic Concentration and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union," Departmental Working Papers 200214, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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