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Do attitudes towards immigrants matter? The subjective wellbeing of immigrants in England and Wales and their exposure to non-migrants

Sedovicova, Michaela (2023) Do attitudes towards immigrants matter? The subjective wellbeing of immigrants in England and Wales and their exposure to non-migrants. European Journal of Population, 39 (1). ISSN 0168-6577

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10680-023-09686-z


The wellbeing of immigrants is affected by those around them and the context in which they live. Yet we still know relatively little about the impact that attitudes towards immigrants (ATI) have on immigrants' life satisfaction, nor do we know the routes by which it manifests. By matching individual data from the UK Understanding Society study to area-level data on ATI for England and Wales from the 2018 European Values Study, I examine whether subnational ATI are associated with immigrants' life satisfaction. If so, I aim to determine the geographical level at which it is prominent and identify the channels through which this association operates. By exploiting the different geographical scales at which ATI are aggregated, I show within-country variation in ATI. Controlling for contextual- and individual-level characteristics, I find that immigrants' wellbeing is sensitive to exposure to the negative ATI of non-migrants at the regional level but not at the municipal level. Theoretically identified channels (local social cohesion and ethnic composition) are not drivers of this association, but it is moderated by (interethnic) friendships. Further, I show that ATI are a measure of environment rather than a function of intergroup contact or exposure and that the entire composition of the ATI in an area is more important than the most negative attitudes. I discuss the implications of these findings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2023 17:42
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 23:45

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