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Immigrants' rights and benefits. A public opinion analysis for Spain

  • Robert Duval-Hernandez
  • Ferran Martinez i Coma

We study the preferences of natives for granting immigrants a set of rights. With a simple political economy model, we predict that unskilled natives oppose granting immigrants access to publicly provided goods when immigrants are relatively unskilled because of the associated competition for these goods. Alternatively, skilled natives oppose granting voting rights out of fear of costly redistributive fiscal policies. The opposite predictions are obtained if immigrants are more skilled than natives. We test these predictions with a dataset of public opinion on immigration in Spain, exploiting individual and regional variation in the data. The data supports these hypotheses in the case of public health services and voting rights. For public education, the results suggest that other considerations may matter more than the fiscal concerns captured in the model.

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File URL: http://papers.econ.ucy.ac.cy/RePEc/papers/15-12.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 15-2012.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:15-2012
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.ucy.ac.cy

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  1. Martínez i Coma, Ferran & Duval Hernández, Robert, 2009. "Hostility Toward Immigration in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 4109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Fabio, MARIANI, 2004. "The Political Economy of Immigrants Naturalization," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2004022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2003. "The Political Economy of Immigrationa and Income Redistribution," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0312, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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