Public Attitudes Toward Immigration: The Role of Economic Factors. Evidence from Post-Socialistic States.
This paper elaborates the link between theoretical claims about the labor market impact of immigration to people’s attitudes toward immigration.
This project is attempt to answer on several questions. Are attitudes towards immigrants influenced by material self-interest or economic motives? Do native workers feel threatened by the labor-market competition of foreigners? Are individuals most concerned about immigration of workers with similar skills to their own?
The chosen cases are post-socialist countries with developing economies, especially Russia. With a breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a shift in the patterns of immigration flows. Newly independent States became a net recipient of immigrants.
Russia became a net recipient of migration from all the other states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Baltic states. Nowadays, the immigration became the burning issue in the public discussions and electoral debates during Moscow mayoral electoral campaign in September, 2013.
The economic consequences of immigration for the native populationand the strong feelings involved make this issue is a hot topic in electoral campaigns and public debates.
Theoretical models give ambiguous prediction according to impact of immigration on the native labor market outcomes. Existing data on Russia do not allow to conduct a robust empirical research on real impact of immigration. However, I can investigate the link between theoretical predictions and people’s preferences toward immigration.
The process which forms preferences may relate to basic intuitions about labor market...
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...ve skill composition is the ratio of skilled to unskilled labor in the native relative to the immigrant populations (Mayda, 2006). Then, the relative skill ratio can be derived as the log of one plus the relative skill composition of natives to immigrants.
Then, the impact of individual skill on immigration preferences can be derived as a function of each country’s relative skill composition of natives to immigrants by including in the empirical specification both the direct effect of individual skill and an interaction variable (i.e. education*relative skill ratio).
These variables will show whether relationship between the individual skill level (level of education) and immigration preferences depends on the relative skill ratio.
Variable on preferences toward immigration will be constructed on the basis of relevant questions in the individual level data sets.