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Discrimination, Exclusion And Immigrants’ Confidence In Public Institutions In Europe


  • Antje Roeder

    () (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Peter Muehlau

    (Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin)


What determines the confidence of immigrants in public institutions? Using pooled data from the European Social Survey from 26 countries, the study examines whether processes of social exclusion and discrimination can account for migrants’ confidence in public institutions. Specifically, it examines the role of the quality of public institutions and of migrant integration policies of the host country and how they interact with migrant status and proxies for experienced or potential discrimination in shaping institutional trust. The empirical results show that first generation migrants exhibit more confidence in public institutions than natives and second generation migrants. In particular migrants from groups with a high discrimination and exclusion risk are more trusting of host country institutions. The quality of institutions does not matter less for the confidence of immigrants than that of natives, with the exception of those who see themselves as an ethnic minority or member of a group discriminated against, and for whom the quality of host country institutions is to a lesser degree reflected in their institutional trust. Controlling for the quality of host country institutions in general, migrant integration policies show a negative relation to migrants’ confidence in public institutions that does not differ from the relationship between integration policies and confidence in institutions for natives. The main conclusion is that countries with better institutions appear to be experienced as more inclusive by migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Antje Roeder & Peter Muehlau, 2010. "Discrimination, Exclusion And Immigrants’ Confidence In Public Institutions In Europe," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp320, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp320

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fenella Fleischmann & Jaap Dronkers, 2007. "The Effects of Social and Labour Market Policies of EU-countries on the Socio-Economic Integration of First and Second Generation Immigrants from Different Countries of Origin," RSCAS Working Papers 2007/19, European University Institute.
    2. Jaap Dronkers & Manon de Heus, 2012. "Immigrants' Children Scientific Performance in a Double Comparative Design: The Influence of Origin, Destination, and Community," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1213, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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    More about this item


    Immigrants; Confidence in institutions; Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • N - Economic History
    • A - General Economics and Teaching


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