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Attitudes Towards Immigration: Does Economic Self-Interest Matter?

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  • Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Roland Munch, Jakob

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Schroll, Sanne

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Rose Skaksen, Jan

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

In this paper, we re-examine the role of economic self-interest in shaping people’s attitudes towards immigration, using data from the European Social Survey 2002/2003. Compared to the existing literature, there are two main contributions of the present paper. First, we develop a more powerful test of the hypothesis that a positive relationship between education and attitudes towards immigration reflects economic self-interest in the labour market. Second, we develop an alternative and more direct test of whether economic self-interest matters for people’s attitudes towards immigration. We find that while the "original" relationship between education and attitudes found in the literature is unlikely to reflect economic self-interest, there is considerable evidence of economic self-interest when using the more direct test.

Suggested Citation

  • Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Roland Munch, Jakob & Schroll, Sanne & Rose Skaksen, Jan, 2006. "Attitudes Towards Immigration: Does Economic Self-Interest Matter?," Working Papers 11-2006, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsnow:2006_011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2005. "Understanding attitudes to immigration: The migration and minority module of the first European Social Survey," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0503, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2004. "Is Immigration Good or Bad for the Economy? Analysis of Attitudinal Responses," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0406, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
    7. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & Jakob Munch & Sanne Schroll & Jan Skaksen, 2009. "Explaining Cross-Country Differences in Attitudes Towards Immigration in the EU-15," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 371-390, May.
    2. Chi-Chur Chao & Bharat R. Hazari & Jean-Pierre Laffargue, 2008. "A simple theory of the optimal number of immigrants," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586821, HAL.
    3. Tremewan, James, 2009. "Beliefs about the Economic Impact of Immigration," TSE Working Papers 09-019, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Tiiu Paas & Olga Demidova, 2014. "What Explains People’S Attitudes Towards Immigrants? A Comparative Study Of Estonia And Russia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 94, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    5. Peder J. Pedersen, 2011. "Social and Labor Market Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Denmark," Chapters,in: Ethnic Diversity in European Labor Markets, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Tiiu PAAS & Olga DEMIDOVA, 2014. "How people perceive immigrants’ role in their country’s life: a comparative study of Estonia and Russia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5, pages 117-138, December.
    7. Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Munch, Jakob Roland & Schroll, Sanne & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2008. "Attitudes towards immigration--Perceived consequences and economic self-interest," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 254-257, August.
    8. VALENTOVA Marie & ALIEVA Aigul, 2010. "Immigration as a Threat: The Effect of Gender Differences Among Luxembourg Residents with and without a Migration History," LISER Working Paper Series 2010-21, LISER.
    9. Demidova, Olga, 2012. "The European residents' attitude towards immigrants: A comparative analysis based on the ESS data," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 28(4), pages 23-34.
    10. VALENTOVA Marie & BERZOSA Guayarmina, 2010. "Attitudes toward immigrants in Luxembourg - Do contacts matter?," LISER Working Paper Series 2010-20, LISER.
    11. Chi-Chur Chao & Bharat R. Hazari & Jean-Pierre Laffargue, 2008. "A simple theory of the optimal number of immigrants," Working Papers halshs-00586821, HAL.

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    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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