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Immigration and natives' attitudes towards the welfare state: Evidence from the European Social Survey

  • Claudia Senik

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, UP4 - Université Paris 4, Paris-Sorbonne - Université Paris IV - Paris Sorbonne - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris, IUF - Institut Universitaire de France - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Holger Stichnoth

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Karine Van Der Straeten

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

Does immigration reduce natives' support for the welfare state? Evidence from the European Social Survey (2002/2003) suggests a more qualified relation. For Europe as a whole, there is only weak evidence of a negative association between the perceived presence of immigrants and natives' support for the welfare state. However, this weak average relationship masks considerable heterogeneity across countries. We distinguish two channels through which immigration could affect natives' support for the welfare state: a pure dislike of immigrants and concerns about the economic consequences of immigration. We find (1) that people who hold both negative views about immigrants generally tend to be less supportive of income redistribution, and (2) that they become even less supportive if they perceive a high share of immigrants in the population.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00586256.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586256
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