Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Economic and Cultural Drivers of Immigrant Support Worldwide

Abstract

Employing a comparative experimental design drawing on over 18,000 interviews across eleven countries on four continents, this article revisits the discussion about the economic and cultural drivers of attitudes towards immigrants in advanced democracies. Experiments manipulate the occupational status, skin tone and national origin of immigrants in short vignettes. The results are most consistent with a Sociotropic Economic Threat thesis: In all countries, higher-skilled immigrants are preferred to their lower-skilled counterparts at all levels of native socio-economic status (SES). There is little support for the Labor Market Competition hypothesis, since respondents are not more opposed to immigrants in their own SES stratum. While skin tone itself has little effect in any country, immigrants from Muslim-majority countries do elicit significantly lower levels of support, and racial animus remains a powerful force.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Political Science, University of Michigan (email: nvalenti@umich.edu); Communication Studies and Political Science, University of Michigan (email: ssoroka@umich.edu); Political Science, Stanford University (email: siyengar@stanford.edu); Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (email: toril.aalberg@svt.ntnu.no); Nuffield College, University of Oxford (email: raymond.duch@nuffield.ox.ac.uk); Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish Scientific Research Institute (email: marta.fraile@eui.eu); Communication, Seoul National University (email: kyuhahn@snu.ac.kr); Political Science, University of Copenhagen (email: kmh@ifs.ku.dk); Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal (email: harell.allison@uqam.ca); Political Science, University of Bamberg (email: helbling@wzb.eu); United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney (email: simon.jackman@sydney.edu.au); Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong (email: tkobayas@cityu.edu.hk). Replication data sets are available in Harvard Dataverse at: https://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/R5MEKK and online appendices are available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712341700031X.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Abowd, John M., and Freeman, Richard B.. 1991. Introduction and Summary. In Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, edited by John M. Abowd and Richard B. Freeman, 125. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
Alvarez, R. Michael, and Butterfield, Tara L.. 2000. The Resurgence of Nativism in California? The Case of Proposition 187 and Illegal Immigration. Social Science Quarterly 81:167179.
Bailenson, Jeremy N., Iyengar, Shanto, and Yee, Nick. 2008. Facial Similarity Between Voters and Candidates Causes Influence. Public Opinion Quarterly 72 (5):935961.
Blumer, Herbert G. 1958. Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position. Pacific Sociological Review 1 (1):37.
Borjas, George J., and Freeman, Richard B., eds. 1992. Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
Brader, Ted, Valentino, Nicholas A., and Suhay, Elizabeth. 2008. What Triggers Public Opposition to Immigration? Anxiety, Group Cues, and Immigration Threat. American Journal of Political Science 52 (4):959978.
Burns, Peter, and Gimpel, James G.. 2000. Economic Insecurity, Prejudicial Stereotypes, and Public Opinion in Immigration Policy. Political Science Quarterly 115 (2):201225.
Calavita, Kitty. 1996. The New Politics of Immigration: ‘Balanced-Budget Conservatism’ and the Symbolism of Proposition 187. Social Problems 43 (3):284305.
Ceobanu, Alin M., and Escandell, Xavier. 2010. Comparative Analyses of Public Attitudes Towards Immigrants and Immigration Using Multinational Survey Data: A Review of Theories and Research. Annual Review of Sociology 36:309328.
Citrin, Jack, Green, Donald, Muste, Christopher, and Wong, Cara. 1997. Public Opinion Toward Immigration Reform: The Role of Economic Motivations. Journal of Politics 59:858881.
Clark, John A., and Legge, Jerome S. Jr. 2009. Economics, Racism, and Attitutudes Toward Immigration in the New Germany. Political Research Quarterly 50 (4):901917.
Dancygier, Rafaela M. 2010. Immigration and Conflict in Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Durr, Robert H. 1993. What Moves Policy Sentiment? American Political Science Review 87 (1):158170.
Espenshade, Thomas J., and Calhoun, Charles A.. 1993. An Analysis of Public Opinion Toward Undocumented Immigration. Population Research and Policy Review 12:189224.
Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Facchini, Giovanni, and Mayda, Anna Maria. 2009. Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes Toward Immigrants? Evidence Across Countries. The Review of Economics and Statistics 91:295314.
Foner, P. 1964. The Policies and Practices of the American Federation of Labor 1900–1909. New York: International Publishers.
Friedberg, Rachel M., and Hunt, Jennifer. 1995. The Impact of Immigration on Host Country Wages, Employment, and Growth. Journal of Economic Perspectives 9 (2):2344.
Gimpel, Burns, and Edwards, James R. Jr. 1999. The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Hainmueller, Jens, and Hopkins, Daniel J.. 2014. Public Attitudes Toward Immigration. Annual Review of Political Science 17:225249.
Hainmueller, Jens, and Hopkins, Daniel. J.. 2015. The Hidden American Immigration Consensus: A Conjoint Analysis of Attitudes toward Immigrants. American Journal of Political Science 59:529548.
Hainmueller, Jens, and Hiscox, Michael J.. 2007. Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Towards Immigration in Europe. International Organization 61:399442.
Hainmueller, Jens, and Hiscox, Michael J.. 2010. Attitudes Toward Highly Skilled and Low-Skilled Immigration: Evidence from a Survey Experiment. American Political Science Review 104:6184.
Hanson, Gordon H., Scheve, Kenneth F., and Slaughter, Matthew J.. 2007. Public Finance and Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies. Economics and Politics 19:133.
Harell, Allison, Soroka, Stuart, Iyengar, Shanto, and Valentino, Nicholas A.. 2012. The Impact of Economic and Cultural Cues on Support for Immigration in Canada and the US. Canadian Journal of Political Science 45 (3):499530.
Harwood, Edwin. 1983. Alienation: American Attitudes Toward Immigration. Public Opinion 6:4951.
Higham, John. 1988[1955]. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925, 2nd Edition. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Hopkins, Daniel J. 2010. Politicized Places: Explaining Where and When Immigrants Provoke Opposition. American Political Science Review 104:4060.
Hopkins, Daniel J.. 2015. The Upside of Accents: Language, Skin Tone, and Attitudes Toward Immigration. British Journal of Political Science 45 (3):531557.
Hutchings, Vincent L., and Valentino, Nicholas A.. 2004. The Centrality of Race in American Politics. Annual Review of Political Science 7:383408.
Iyengar, Shanto, Jackman, Simon, Messing, Solomon, Valentino, Nicholas A., Aalberg, Toril, Duch, Ray, Hahn, Kyu, Harell, Allison, Soroka, Stuart, and Kobayashi, Tetsuro. 2013. Do Attitudes About Immigration Predict Willingness to Admit Individual Immigrants? A Cross-National Test of the Person-Positivity Bias. Public Opinion Quarterly 77 (3):641665.
Jackson, James S., and Inglehart, Marita R.. 1995. Reverberation Theory; Stress and Racism in Hierarchically Structured Communities. In Extreme Stress and Communities: Impact and Intervention, edited by Stevan E. Hobfoll and Marten W. de Vries, 353373. The Netherlands: Springer.
Kinder, Donald R., and Kam, Cindy D.. 2010. Us Against Them. Ethnocentric Foundations of American Public Opinion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kinder, Donald R., and Kiewiet, D. Roderick. 1981. Sociotropic Politics: The American Case. British Journal of Political Science 11 (2):129161.
Lapinski, John S., Peltola, Pia, Shaw, Greg, and Yang, Alan. 1997. Trends: Immigrants and Immigration. Public Opinion Quarterly 61:356383.
Lee, Yueh-Ting, and Ottati, Victor. 2002. Attitudes Toward U.S. Immigration Policy: The Roles of In-group—Outgroup Bias, Economic Concern, and Obedience to Law. Journal of Social Psychology 142:617634.
Lee, Yueh-Ting, Ottati, Victor, and Hussain, Imtiaz. 2001. Attitudes Toward Illegal Immigration into the United States: California Proposition 187. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 23:430443.
MacKuen, Michael B., Erikson, Robert S., and Stimson, James A.. 1992. Peasants or Bankers? The American Electorate and the U.S. Economy. American Political Science Review 86 (3):597611.
Malhotra, Neil, Margalit, Yotam, and Hyunjung Mo, Cecilia. 2013. Economic Explanations for Opposition to Immigration: Distinguishing Between Prevalence and Conditional Impact. American Journal of Political Science 57 (2):391410.
Mayda, Anna Maria. 2006. Who is against immigration? A cross-country investigation of individual attitudes toward immigrants. The review of Economics and Statistics 88 (3):510530.
Nelson, Thomas E., and R. Kinder, Donald. 1996. Issue frames and group-centrism in American public opinion. The Journal of Politics 58 (4):10551078.
Olzak, Susan. 1992. The Dynamics of Ethnic Competition and Conflict. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Ostfeld, Mara. 2017. The Backyard Politics of Attitudes Toward Immigration. Political Psychology 38 (1):2127.
Pérez, Efrén O. 2010. Explicit Evidence on the Import of Implicit Attitudes: The IAT and Immigration Policy Judgments. Political Behavior 32:517545.
Pettigrew, Thomas F., Wagner, Ulrich, and Christ, Oliver. 2007. Who Opposes Immigration? Comparing German with North American Findings. Du Bois Review 4 (1):1939.
Quillian, Lincoln. 1995. Prejudice as a Response to Perceived Group Threat: Population Composition and Anti-Immigrant and Racial Prejudice in Europe. American Sociological Review 60 (4):586612.
Sears, David O., and J. Henry, Patrick. 2003. The origins of symbolic racism. Journal of personality and social psychology 85 (2):259275.
Scheve, Kenneth F., and Slaughter, Matthew J.. 2001. Labor Market Competition and Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy. The Review of Economics and Statistics 83 (1):133145.
Sides, John, and Jack, Citrin. 2007. European Opinion About Immigration: The Role of Identities, Interests and Information. British Journal of Political Science 37 (3):477504.
Simon, Rita, and Alexander, Susan. 1993. The Ambivalent Welcome. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Sniderman, Paul M., and Hagendoorn, Louk. 2007. When Ways of Life Collide: Multiculturalism and its Discontents in the Netherlands. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Sniderman, Paul, Hagendoorn, Louk, and Prior, Markus. 2004. Predispositional Factors and Situational Triggers: Exclusionary Reactions to Immigrant Minorities. American Political Science Review 98:3550.
Stevenson, Randolph T. 2001. The Economy and Policy Mood: A Fundamental Dynamic of Democratic Politics? American Journal of Political Science 45 (3):620633.
Terkildsen, N. 1993. When White Voters Evaluate Black Candidates: The Processing Implications of Candidate Skin Color, Prejudice and Self-Monitoring. American Journal of Political Science 37:10321053.
Tingley, Dustin. 2013. Public Finance and Immigration Preferences: A Lost Connection. Polity 45:433.
Turper, Sedef, Iyengar, Shanto, Aarts, Kees, and Gervan, Minn van. 2015. Who is Less Welcome?: The Impact of Individuating Cues on Attitudes Towards Immigrants. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41 (2):239259.
Valentino, Nicholas A., Brader, Ted, and Jardina, Ashley E.. 2013. The Antecedents of Immigration Opinion Among U.S. Whites: Media Group Priming Versus General Ethnocentrism? Political Psychology 34 (2):149166.
Valentino, Nicholas, Soroka, Stuart, Iyengar, Shanto, Aalberg, Toril, Duch, Raymond, Fraile, Marta, Hahn Kyu, S., Hansen Kasper, M., Harell, Allison, Helbling, Marc, Jackman, Simon D., and Kobayashi, Tetsuro. 2017. “Replication Data for: Economic and Cultural Drivers of Immigrant Support Worldwide”, https://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7910/DVN/R5MEKK, Harvard Dataverse, V1.
Vavreck, Lynn, and Iyengar, Shanto. 2011. The Future of Political Communication Research: Online Panels and Experimentation. In Oxford Handbook of Public Opinion and Media Research, edited by Robert Shapiro and Lawrence Jacobs, 156168. New York: Oxford University Press.
Weaver, Vesla M. 2012. The Electoral Consequences of Skin Color: The ‘Hidden’ Side of Race in Politics. Political Behavior 34 (1):159192.
West, Darrell. 2010. The Brain Gain: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Wong, Cara. 2010. Boundaries of Obligation: Geographic, Racial, and National Communities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zárate, Michael A., Garcia, Berenice, Garza, Azenett A., and Hitlan, R, Robert T.. 2004. Cultural Threat and Perceived Realistic Group Conflict as Predictors of Attitudes Towards Mexican Immigrants. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 40 (1):99100.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Valentino et al Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
PDF
Supplementary materials

Valentino et al supplementary material
Online Appendix

 PDF (223 KB)
223 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score