Online first: Our article on Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Latin America

Here is the link to Covadonga Meseguer’s and my article on anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America.

Here is our abstract:
In this article, we study the material determinants of anti-immigrant sentiment in Latin America. Based on new data on immigration to non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, we use the workhorse distributive theories that anticipate who wins and who loses from immigration and test their predictive capacity in labor-abundant countries. We exploit the variation in regional immigration rates, in the skill composition of natives versus migrants, and in the relative generosity of Latin American welfare states. We find that fears of labor-market competition are weak predictors of anti-immigrant sentiment. In contrast, fears of greater tax burdens are strong and robust predictors of anti-immigrant sentiment. We conclude that studying Latin American public opinion opens new avenues for theorizing about anti-immigrant sentiment in developing countries.

What strikes me most is a recurrent phenomenon in public opinion about immigration: Those countries with a lot of exposure and experience tend to me more friendly towards immigrants than those with very little. One can find this comparing countries, regions within countries, and people living in with differently diverse vicinities. Here is, for instance, the percentage of those critical about immigrants in Latin America plotted against stock of immigrants and their relative qualification level (higher values imply more low-skilled immigrants).

Figure1

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