Skill specificity and attitudes toward immigration

Pardos-Prado, S. and Xena, C. (2019) Skill specificity and attitudes toward immigration. American Journal of Political Science, 63(2), pp. 286-304. (doi: 10.1111/ajps.12406)

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Labor market competition theories explaining anti‐immigrant attitudes have received limited or no empirical validation in recent literature. This has led researchers to highlight education and cultural values as the main, if not the sole, drivers of attitudes toward immigration. We present a new labor market competition theory focusing on job availability rather than foreign labor supply. This theory predicts that individuals with low transferable skills in the labor market will articulate a subjective sense of job insecurity and higher hostility toward migrants. Our cross‐classified, longitudinal, and difference‐in‐differences models reveal that skill specificity is a strong driver of anti‐immigrant attitudes, and they suggest that economic competition theories cannot be dismissed. By shifting the attention from supply to demand in the labor market, and from actual to potential competition with migrants, we show that the highly educated are far from immune to anti‐immigrant attitudes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pardos-Prado, Professor Sergi
Authors: Pardos-Prado, S., and Xena, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:American Journal of Political Science
ISSN (Online):1540-5907
Published Online:19 November 2018

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