IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Hostility Toward Immigration in Spain


  • Martínez i Coma, Ferran

    () (CIDE, Mexico City)

  • Duval Hernández, Robert

    () (University of Cyprus)


This paper provides new evidence regarding public opinion on immigration by studying the Spanish case, and by analyzing not only respondents' preferences regarding immigration levels, but also regarding admittance policies and the rights and benefits to grant to foreigners. In general, Spaniards support less immigration, and more selectivity based on skills and qualifications, but not reduced rights and benefits for immigrants. Skilled natives have more positive attitudes about immigration, in spite of the potential fiscal burden it implies for them. Respondents believing that immigration drops natives' wages tended to oppose immigration and endorse reducing the benefits and rights granted to immigrants. More negative attitudes were found among individuals who dislike other races, while the opposite was found for those valuing cultural diversity. Catholic respondents favor more restrictive admission policies, in particular ones based on cultural factors. Respondents in provinces with high immigration and a high proportion of Moroccans wanted lower levels of immigration, though having contact with immigrants reduces the negative attitudes toward them. Individuals overestimating the levels of immigration are more prone to have negative attitudes toward immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Martínez i Coma, Ferran & Duval Hernández, Robert, 2009. "Hostility Toward Immigration in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 4109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4109

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mario Izquierdo & Juan Jimeno & Juan Rojas, 2010. "On the aggregate effects of immigration in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 409-432, September.
    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. 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.
    4. Sides, John & Citrin, Jack, 2007. "European Opinion About Immigration: The Role of Identities, Interests and Information," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(03), pages 477-504, July.
    5. 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.
    6. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
    7. Hanson, Gordon H., 2005. "Why Does Immigration Divide America? Public Finance and Political Opposition to Open Borders," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4000.
    8. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
    9. Louis N. Christofides & Sofronis Clerides & Costas Hadjiyiannis & Michel S. Michael, 2007. "The Impact of Foreign Workers on the Labour Market of Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 1(2), pages 37-49, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Robert Duval-Hernandez & Ferran Martinez i Coma, 2012. "Immigrants' rights and benefits. A public opinion analysis for Spain," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 15-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    2. Ildefonso Mendez & Isabel Cutillas, 2014. "Has immigration affected Spanish presidential elections results?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 135-171, January.

    More about this item


    immigration preferences; international migration;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4109. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.