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Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants

  • Mayda, Anna Maria

    ()

    (Georgetown University)

This paper empirically analyzes both economic and non-economic determinants of attitudes toward immigrants, within and across countries. The two individual-level survey data sets used, covering a wide range of developed and developing countries, make it possible to test for interactive effects between individual characteristics and country-level attributes. The paper identifies and investigates a strong empirical regularity concerning the relationship between individual skill and attitudes toward immigrants. I find that individuals with higher levels of skill are more likely to be pro-immigration in high per capita GDP countries and less likely in low per capita GDP countries. Additional results, based on a smaller sample of countries, suggest a labor-market explanation for this cross-country pattern. The variation across countries in the correlation between skill and preferences appears to be related to differences in the skill composition of natives relative to immigrants across destination economies. This finding is consistent with the predictions of the Heckscher-Ohlin model, in the absence of factor-price-insensitivity, and of the factor-proportions-analysis model. Finally, non-economic variables also appear to be correlated with immigration attitudes but they do not seem to alter significantly the results on the economic explanations.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1115.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1115.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2006, 88 (3), 510-530
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1115
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  1. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kevin H. O'Rourke, & Richard Sinnott, 2003. "Migration flows: Political Economy of Migration and the Empirical Challenges," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp06, IIIS.
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  14. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
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  18. Money, Jeannette, 1997. "No Vacancy: The Political Geography of Immigration Control in Advanced Industrial Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(04), pages 685-720, September.
  19. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  20. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, May.
  21. 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.
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  23. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 1998. "Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
  25. Edward Anderson & Paul J. G. Tang & Adrian Wood, 2006. "Globalization, co-operation costs, and wage inequalities," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 569-595, October.
  26. 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).
  27. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  29. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  30. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
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