Attitudes toward immigration : A mapping of the development and analysis in attitudes towards immigration in Europe
Sammanfattning: The research on natives’ attitudes regarding immigration has increased during the past decades. The overall findings question the common theory of labor market competition and that native attitudes are affected by personal economic considerations. In the same time an increased concern in the political debate has become immigration. In many countries, there is a growth and progress of political parties with a far-right orientation that disapproves and attempts to prevent immigration. We examine data on attitudes towards immigration from eight rounds of the European social survey (ESS) which covers the years between 2002-2016. We study if the attitudes in Europe towards immigration from poor non-member countries of the European Union have changed during the 21th century and examine if the massive acceleration of refugee applications during the refugee crisis in 2015 has had an impact on the attitudes towards immigration. We estimate different models to examine how different factors are associated with individuals' attitudes towards immigration. Furthermore, we test if the labor market competition model holds for the seventh round of ESS due to limitation in data. We find that natives’ attitudes have not become worse in Europe, and that the refugee crisis in 2015 has not made the attitudes worse. We find that the factors that are associated with individual attitudes towards immigration are to a large degree connected with cultural values and beliefs, and that individuals with more years of schooling are more likely to favor immigration regardless of where the immigrants come from. These findings are consistent with the growing body of empirical findings that considers that cultural values and believes are the main drivers of attitudes towards immigration, and that actual effects of immigration on income and employment are quite small. These findings put the labor market competition premise in forming immigration attitudes into question.
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