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Pricing immigration

Hix, Simon, Kaufmann, Eric and Leeper, Thomas J. (2020) Pricing immigration. Journal of Experimental Political Science, 8 (1). pp. 63-74. ISSN 2052-2630

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Identification Number: 10.1017/XPS.2020.6


Immigration is highly salient for voters in Europe and the United States and has generated considerable academic debate about the causes of preferences over immigration. This debate centers around the relative influences of sociotropic or personal economic considerations, as well as non-economic threats. We provide a test of the competing egocentric, sociotropic, and non-economic paradigms using a novel constrained preference experiment in which respondents are asked to trade-off preferred reductions in immigration levels with realistic estimates of the personal or societal costs associated with those reductions. This survey experiment, per- formed on a national sample of British YouGov panelists, allows us to measure the price-elasticity of the public’s preferences with regard to levels of European and non-European immigration. Respondents were willing to admit more immigrants when restriction carries economic costs, with egocentric considerations as important as sociotropic ones. People who voted for the UK to Leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum are less price-elastic than those voting Remain, indicating that non-economic concerns are also important.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 03:33

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