English title: Values and Support for Immigration: A Cross-Country Comparison

Author(s): Eldad Davidov - Bart Meuleman - Jaak Billiet - Peter Schmidt -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


In this paper, we estimate and compare the effects of two value dimensions taken from the theory of basic human values (Schwartz 1992) – namely self-transcendence and conservation- on attitudes toward immigration policies in 19 countries. Data from the first round (2002-03) of the European Social Survey (ESS) is utilized. This cross-national survey measures basic human values with a new 21-item instrument. Attitudes toward immigration are operationalized using two dimensions: willingness to allow immigrants into the country, and support for conditions to allow them. Effects of the value dimensions on immigration attitudes are compared across 19 nations using multiple-group multiple-indicators structural equation modelling (MGSEM). The critical statistical legitimacy for comparing these effects across countries is discussed in detail, and measurement invariance is evidenced. The MGSEM provides strong support for our hypotheses in 17 countries: self-transcendence displays a positive effect on support for immigration, and conservation a negative effect. It is shown that among the countries in the study, clusters of countries with equal effect sizes can be distinguished.

Volume: 24

Issue: 5

From page no: 583

To page no: 599

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCN020

Journal: European Sociological Review

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