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

  • Brenner, Jan

    ()

    (RWI)

  • Fertig, Michael

    ()

    (ISG, Cologne)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2306.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2306
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 1998. "Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Bengt Muthén, 1984. "A general structural equation model with dichotomous, ordered categorical, and continuous latent variable indicators," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 115-132, March.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2002. "The Perception of Foreigners and Jews in Germany - A Structural Analysis of a Large Opinion Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Gang, Ira N. & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2002. "Economic Strain, Ethnic Concentration and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union," IZA Discussion Papers 578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Zimmermann, Klaus F. (ed.), 2005. "European Migration: What Do We Know?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199257355, March.
  10. 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.
  11. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M, 2001. "First- and Second-Generation Migrants in Germany - What Do We Know and What Do People Think," CEPR Discussion Papers 2803, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1768, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Muthen, Bengt, 1983. "Latent variable structural equation modeling with categorical data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 43-65.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
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