Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants? Evidence across Countries
Anna Maria Mayda
This paper analyzes welfare-state determinants of individual attitudes toward immigrants-within and across countries-and their interaction with labor market drivers of preferences. We consider two mechanisms through which a redistributive welfare system might adjust as a result of immigration. Under the first model, immigration has a larger impact on high-income individuals, while under the second one low-income individuals are those most affected. Individual attitudes are consistent with the first welfare-state model and with labor market determinants. In countries where immigration is unskilled, income is negatively correlated with pro-immigration preferences, while skill is positively correlated with them. These relationships are reversed in economies characterized by skilled migration. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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