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Public Attitudes toward Young Immigrant Men

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2018

ETH Zurich
*Dalston G. Ward, Postdoctoral Fellow, Immigration Policy Lab, Stanford University and ETH Zurich; Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich,


Young men often make up a large share of newly arriving immigrant populations. How this impacts attitudes is unclear: young men have the potential to make substantial economic contributions, meaning attitudes toward them may be more favorable. However, young men may be seen as security and cultural threats, exacerbating anti-immigrant attitudes. I conduct a conjoint experiment on a sample of 2,100 Germans, asking them to evaluate groups of immigrants with randomly varying shares of young men. The results show that groups of immigrants with a large share of young men receive substantially less support. Further tests reveal that respondents also perceive of these groups as likely to pose security and cultural threats; there is no evidence that young men are viewed as having high economic potential. These results have implications for the importance of economic, cultural, and security concerns in underpinning attitudes toward immigrants.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2018 

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This research is supported by NSF grant number 1560637. I thank Michael Bechtel, Alexandra Dufresne, Matthew Gabel, Dino Hadzic, Dominik Hangartner, Suzanne Hart, Jonathan Homola, Jae-Hee Jung, Jeong Hyun Kim, Jay Krehbiel, Miguel Pereira, Nelson Ruiz-Guarin, and Margit Tavits as well as the editor and anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions. An earlier version of this research was presented at the University of Illinois. Replication files are available at the American Political Science Review Dataverse:



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