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How economic, humanitarian, and religious concerns shape European attitudes toward asylum seekers

Bansak, Kirk, Hainmueller, Jens and Hangartner, Dominik (2016) How economic, humanitarian, and religious concerns shape European attitudes toward asylum seekers. Science, 354 (6309). pp. 217-222. ISSN 0036-8075

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Identification Number: 10.1126/science.aag2147


What types of asylum seekers are Europeans willing to accept? We conducted a conjoint experiment asking 18,000 eligible voters in 15 European countries to evaluate 180,000 profiles of asylum seekers that randomly varied on nine attributes. Asylum seekers who have higher employability, have more consistent asylum testimonies and severe vulnerabilities, and are Christian rather than Muslim received the greatest public support. These results suggest that public preferences over asylum seekers are shaped by sociotropic evaluations of their potential economic contributions, humanitarian concerns about the deservingness of their claims, and anti-Muslim bias. These preferences are similar across respondents of different age, education, income, and political ideology, as well as across the surveyed countries. This public consensus on what types of asylum seekers to accept has important implications for theory and policy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2016 13:53
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2024 17:24

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