Unemployment risk makes highly educated workers oppose immigration more
Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash
What is it about?
Why do some individuals oppose immigration and immigrants and others do not? We examine individual attitudes towards equal opportunities for foreigners and Swiss citizens -- a question we think captures concerns over labour-market competition. We use cross-sectional data from the Swiss Household Panel. Individuals with low levels of education tend to oppose foreigners. Individuals with high levels of education tend to oppose foreigners more when they are at (self-assessed) risk of unemployment. While values and beliefs can explain opposition to immigration, they do not explain the association with the risk of unemployment for individuals with high levels of education. We conclude that both values and economic factors are important for explaining attitudes towards foreigners.
Why is it important?
Only when we understand why individuals oppose immigrants and immigration we can do something about it. There is disagreement in the literature to what extent economic factors play a role.
The following have contributed to this page: Didier Ruedin and Marco Pecoraro