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What do you fear? Anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America

Author

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  • Meseguer, Covadonga
  • Kemmerling, Achim

Abstract

In this article, we study the material determinants of anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America. Based on new data on immigration to non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, we use the workhorse distributive theories that anticipate who wins and who loses from immigration and test their predictive capacity in labor-abundant countries. We exploit the variation in regional immigration rates, in the skill composition of natives versus migrants, and in the relative generosity of Latin American welfare states. We find that fears of labor-market competition are weak predictors of anti-immigrant sentiment. In contrast, fears of greater tax burdens are strong and robust predictors of anti-immigrant sentiment. We conclude that studying Latin American public opinion opens new avenues for theorizing about anti-immigrant sentiment in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Meseguer, Covadonga & Kemmerling, Achim, 2016. "What do you fear? Anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66302, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:66302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-immigrant sentiment; labor market competition; welfare state; Latin America; South-South migration; developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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