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Nativist policy: the comparative effects of Trumpian politics on migration decisions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2020

Raymond M Duch*
Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Denise Laroze
Centre for Experimental Social Science and Department of Management, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Constantin Reinprecht
Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham, UK
Thomas S Robinson
Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham, UK
*Corresponding author. Email:


Firms in the USA rely on highly skilled immigrants, particularly in the science and engineering sectors. Yet, the recent politics of immigration marks a substantial change to US immigration policy. We implement a conjoint experiment that isolates the causal effect of nativist, anti-immigrant, pronouncements on where skilled potential-migrants choose to immigrate to. While these policies have a significantly negative effect on the destination choices of Chilean and UK student subjects, they have little effect on the choices of Indian and Chinese student subjects. These results are confirmed through an unobtrusive test of subjects’ general immigration destination preferences. Moreover, there is some evidence that the negative effect of these nativist policies are particularly salient for those who self-identify with the Left.

Original Article
Copyright © The European Political Science Association 2020

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