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Self-interest, beliefs, and policy opinions: understanding how economic beliefs affect immigration policy preferences

Gerber, Alan S., Huber, Gregory A., Biggers, Daniel R. and Hendry, David J. (2017) Self-interest, beliefs, and policy opinions: understanding how economic beliefs affect immigration policy preferences. Political Research Quarterly, 70 (1). pp. 155-171. ISSN 1065-9129

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1065912916684032

Abstract

Research on how economic factors affect attitudes toward immigration often focuses on labor market effects, concluding that, because workers’ skill levels do not predict opposition to low- versus highly skilled immigration, economic self-interest does not shape policy attitudes. We conduct a new survey to measure beliefs about a range of economic, political, and cultural consequences of immigration. When economic self-interest is broadened to include concerns about the fiscal burdens created by immigration, beliefs about these economic effects strongly correlate with immigration attitudes and explain a significant share of the difference in support for highly versus low-skilled immigration. Although cultural factors are important, our results suggest that previous work underestimates the importance of economic self-interest as a source of immigration policy preferences and attitudes more generally.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/political-researc...
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Methodology
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 17:04
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 02:25
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/69674

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