English title: Immigration and Natives’ Attitudes towards the Welfare State: Evidence from the European Social Survey

Author(s): Claudia Senik - Holger Stichnoth - Karine Van der Straeten -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


Does immigration reduce natives’ support for the welfare state? Evidence from the European Social Survey (2002/2003) suggests a more qualified relation. For Europe as a whole, there is only weak evidence of a negative association between the perceived presence of immigrants and natives’ support for the welfare state. However, this weak average relationship masks considerable heterogeneity across countries. We distinguish two channels through which immigration could affect natives’ support for the welfare state: a pure dislike of immigrants and concerns about the economic consequences of immigration. We find that natives who hold both negative views react much more negatively to a given perceived share of immigrants than natives who hold neither view. However, there is no clear pattern concerning the relative importance of the two channels. Finally, we find that natives who hold either of these negative views of immigrants tend to be less supportive of the welfare state independently of the perceived presence of immigrants.

Volume: 91

Issue: 3

From page no: 345

To page no: 370

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S11205-008-9342-4

Journal: Social Indicators Research

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