Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics

No 11-2006: Attitudes Towards Immigration: Does Economic Self-Interest Matter?

Nikolaj Malchow-Møller , Jakob Roland Munch , Sanne Schroll and Jan Rose Skaksen
Additional contact information
Nikolaj Malchow-Møller: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Jakob Roland Munch: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Sanne Schroll: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Jan Rose Skaksen: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: In this paper, we re-examine the role of economic self-interest in shaping people’s attitudes towards immigration, using data from the European Social Survey 2002/2003. Compared to the existing literature, there are two main contributions of the present paper. First, we develop a more powerful test of the hypothesis that a positive relationship between education and attitudes towards immigration reflects economic self-interest in the labour market. Second, we develop an alternative and more direct test of whether economic self-interest matters for people’s attitudes towards immigration. We find that while the "original" relationship between education and attitudes found in the literature is unlikely to reflect economic self-interest, there is considerable evidence of economic self-interest when using the more direct test.

Keywords: na

JEL-codes: G10

31 pages, January 1, 2006

Note: na

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