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Attitudes Towards Immigration: Does Economic Self-Interest Matter?

  • Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj

    ()

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Munch, Jakob R.

    ()

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Schroll, Sanne

    ()

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Skaksen, Jan Rose

    ()

    (Copenhagen Business School)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2283.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics Letters, 2008, 100 (2), 254-257
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2283
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0839, Econometric Society.
  5. 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.
  6. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others 0505013, EconWPA.
  8. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
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