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The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke
  • Richard Sinnott

The paper uses a cross-country dataset to investigate the determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration. There are three main conclusions. The first is that attitudes towards immigration are not a function of economic interests alone; rather, they also reflect nationalist sentiment among respondents. The second is that for labour market participants, standard economic theory does a good job of predicting individual attitudes towards immigration. The high-skilled are less opposed to immigration than the low-skilled, and this effect is greater in richer countries than in poorer countries, consistent with Heckscher-Ohlin theory; and in more equal countries than in more unequal ones (consistent with the Borjas theory of immigrant self-selection). On the other hand, non-economic factors are much more important in determining the attitudes of those not in the labour force.

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File URL: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2004_papers/TEPNo2KOR24.pdf
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Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 20042.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:20042
Contact details of provider: Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
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Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/

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  1. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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  29. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
  30. Haupt, Alexander & Peters, Wolfgang, 1998. " Public Pensions and Voting on Immigration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 403-13, June.
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