Attitudes towards immigrants: micro and macro effects

Ágnes Pakot, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)
Peter Robert, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)

The paper investigates micro level (individual) and macro level (country level) influences on attitudes towards immigration. Two types of attitudes are distinguished: one refers to the opinion on immigration from the perspective of ‘quantity’ (to what extent should people be allowed to immigrate to the country?); the other one refers to the evaluation of immigration from the perspective of ‘quality’ (is immigration good or bad in terms of economy, cultural life or living conditions in the country?). For explanatory variables, individual characteristics like education or political-ideological preferences are considered, on the one hand, and country level features like extent of immigration or level of democracy in the country are taken into account, on the other hand. We expect that respondents with higher status and with leftwing / liberal political orientation express more tolerance towards immigrants as compared to their counterparts with lower status and rightwing political orientation. We also expect that higher size of immigrant population and more liberal political climate will result in more tolerant attitudes towards immigration. The analysis is based on the European Social Survey data. The most recent 2012 dataset includes 24 nations. At descriptive level, countries’ rank order will be investigated in terms of inhabitants’ positive attitudes towards immigration. The multivariate analysis of the paper investigates the impact of the individual and country level measures on the attitudes, separately for those on the ‘quantity’ and the ‘quality’ of the immigration, and provides an empirical test of the hypotheses. Multivariate analysis is also used to elaborate on country differences from a comparative perspective. Given that ESS has started in 2012, limited possibilities are present to examine changes over time. Moreover, only the 15 countries that participated in all waves can be analyzed from a temporal perspective.

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Presented in Poster Session 3