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Identifying the Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigrants: A Structural Cross-Country Analysis

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  • Brenner, Jan

    () (RWI)

  • Fertig, Michael

    () (ISG, Cologne)

Abstract

Utilizing subjective data to infer on fundamental issues of individual opinion is associated with severe conceptual and methodological problems. This paper addresses these problems and investigates the attitudes towards immigrants within a cross-country framework. To this end, we utilize data from the first wave of the European Social Survey (ESS) in a structural latent variable model. The determinants of attitudes towards immigrants are estimated by employing different identification restrictions on the model. Our results suggest that educational attainment as well as parental education are the main driving forces behind attitudes formation. Average attitudes across countries further seem to increase with per capita GDP. All our findings are stable across countries and identification strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Brenner, Jan & Fertig, Michael, 2006. "Identifying the Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigrants: A Structural Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2306, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M, 2002. "The Perception of Foreigners and Jews in Germany - A Structural Analysis of a Large Opinion Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 3222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-251, May.
    6. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "First- and Second-Generation Migrants in Germany - What Do We Know and What Do People Think," IZA Discussion Papers 286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Kevin H. O'Rourke & R. Sinnott, 2003. "Migration Flows: Political Economy of Migration and the Empirical Challenges," Trinity Economics Papers 20036, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    10. 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.
    11. Joseph Daniels & Marc von der Ruhr, 2005. "God and the Global Economy: Religion and Attitudes Toward Trade and Immigration in the United States," Working Papers and Research 0501, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
    12. Muthen, Bengt, 1983. "Latent variable structural equation modeling with categorical data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 43-65.
    13. 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.
    14. Zimmermann, Klaus F. (ed.), 2005. "European Migration: What Do We Know?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199257355.
    15. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2001. "Attitudes to Ethic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 353-373, April.
    16. 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.
    17. Bengt Muthén, 1984. "A general structural equation model with dichotomous, ordered categorical, and continuous latent variable indicators," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 115-132, March.
    18. Francisco Rivera-Batiz & Myeong-Su Yun & Ira Gang, 2002. "Economic Strain, Ethnic Concentration and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union," Departmental Working Papers 200214, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. R Todd Jewell & Natalia Melgar & David J. Molina & Máximo Rossi, 2009. "Attitudes toward immigrants: a cross-country perspective," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0309, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:2:p:416-451 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Michael Fertig & Christoph Schmidt, 2011. "Attitudes towards foreigners and Jews in Germany: identifying the determinants of xenophobia in a large opinion survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 99-128, March.
    6. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext350 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2011. "Relative deprivation, relative satisfaction, and attitudes towards immigrants: Evidence from Ukraine," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 189-207, June.
    8. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2007. "Attitudes Towards Immigrants and Relative Deprivation: The Case of a Middle-Income Country," MPRA Paper 4595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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).
    10. Brenner, Jan, 2007. "Parental Impact on Attitude Formation - A Siblings Study on Worries about Immigration," Ruhr Economic Papers 22, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Jonas Månsson & Josefin Dahlander, 2011. "Social interaction impact on attitudes – Native Swedes’ attitudes towards labour immigrants and guest workers after hurricane Gudrun," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 51-64, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective data; identification; minorities;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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