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Labor-Market Exposure as a Determinant of Attitudes toward Immigration

Author

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  • Ortega, Francesc

    () (Queens College, CUNY)

  • Polavieja, Javier G.

    () (IMDEA)

Abstract

This paper re-examines the role of labor-market competition as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration. We claim two main contributions. First, we use more sophisticated measures of the degree of exposure to competition from immigrants than previously done. Specifically, we focus on the protection derived from investments in job-specific human capital and from specialization in communication-intensive jobs, in addition to formal education. Second, we explicitly account for the potential endogeneity arising from job search. Methodologically, we estimate, by instrumental variables, an econometric model that allows for heterogeneity at the individual, regional, and country level. Drawing on the 2004 European Social Survey, we obtain three main results. First, our estimates show that individuals that are currently employed in less exposed jobs are relatively more pro-immigration. This is true for both our new measures of exposure. Second, we show that the protection granted by job-specific human capital is clearly distinct from the protection granted by formal education. Yet the positive effect of education on pro-immigration attitudes is greatly reduced when we control for the degree of communication intensity of respondents' occupations. Third, OLS estimates are biased in a direction that suggests that natives respond to immigration by switching to less exposed jobs. The latter finding provides indirect support for the endogenous job specialization hypothesis postulated by Peri and Sparber (2009).

Suggested Citation

  • Ortega, Francesc & Polavieja, Javier G., 2009. "Labor-Market Exposure as a Determinant of Attitudes toward Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 4519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4519
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    Cited by:

    1. Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo & Romero, J. Gabriel, 2016. "Financing public goods and attitudes toward immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 159-178.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2018. "Immigration and the Future of the Welfare State in Europe," PSE Working Papers halshs-01707760, HAL.
    3. González, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Evidence from Spanish regions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-70, January.
    4. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & de la Rica, Sara, 2011. "Complements or substitutes? Task specialization by gender and nativity in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 697-707, October.
    5. Panu Poutvaara & Max Steinhardt, 2015. "Bitterness in Life and Attitudes Towards Immigration," CESifo Working Paper Series 5611, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Verena Dill, 2013. "Ethnic Concentration and Extreme Right-Wing Voting Behavior in West Germany," Research Papers in Economics 2013-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0095-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Antonio Fidalgo & Alberto Holly & Marco Pecoraro & Philippe Wanner, 2016. "A nonparametric analysis of the healthy immigrant effect," IRENE Working Papers 16-15, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Slobodan Djajić & Frédéric Docquier & Michael Michael, 2018. "Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital - Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain," Post-Print hal-01743814, HAL.
    10. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2014. "Immigration and election outcomes — Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 67-79.
    11. Braakmann Nils & Wildman John & Waqas Muhammad, 2017. "Are Immigrants in Favour of Immigration? Evidence from England and Wales," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, February.
    12. Kaya, Ezgi, 2014. "Gender Wage Gap Trends in Europe: The Role of Occupational Allocation and Skill Prices," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2014/23, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    13. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Riccardo Puglisi, 2017. "Illegal immigration and media exposure: evidence on individual attitudes," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-36, December.
    14. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The effect of income and immigration policies on international migration," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 11, pages 333-360 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants," Working Papers 1214, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:18:y:2018:i:4:p:951-999. is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Marco Pecoraro & Didier Ruedin, 2016. "A Foreigner Who Does Not Steal My Job: The Role of Unemployment Risk and Values in Attitudes toward Equal Opportunities," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 628-666, September.
    18. Murard, Elie, 2017. "Less Welfare or Fewer Foreigners? Immigrant Inflows and Public Opinion towards Redistribution and Migration Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 10805, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    communication skills; job-specific human capital; labor market; immigration attitudes; international migration;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • 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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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