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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

'Are Immigrants Taking Your Job?'

Catherine Rampell:

Are Immigrants Taking Your Job? A Primer, by Catherine Rampell: Immigration reform is back on the table, reviving debates about whether immigration is good or bad for American-born workers.
There are a lot of competing studies (and pundits) out there, but the general takeaway from conservative and liberal economists is that immigration is good for Americans’ living standards over the long run. That’s because immigrants raise the wages of native-born workers (and also lower the cost of immigrant-dense services like child care and cleaning). ... [I]mmigrants and native-born workers are generally complements, rather than perfect substitutes... As a result, immigration creates new job opportunities for the native-born... There is some disagreement about whether the wage benefits of immigration are evenly distributed among all workers, though. ...

Then what are people afraid of?:

Tendency to fear is strong political influence, EurekAlert: It's no secret that fear is a mechanism often used in political campaigns to steer public opinion on hot-button issues like immigration and war. But not everyone is equally predisposed to be influenced by such a strategy, according to new research ... published in the American Journal of Political Science.
By examining the different ways that fear manifests itself in individuals and its correlation to political attitudes, the researchers found that people who have a greater genetic liability to experience higher levels of social fear tend to be more supportive of anti-immigration and pro-segregation policies. Thus far, research examining the link between fear and political attitudes has seldom accounted for trait-based fear, with transitory state-based fear being a more common focus area. ...
The research indicates a strong correlation between social fear and anti-immigration, pro-segregation attitudes. While those individuals with higher levels of social fear exhibited the strongest negative out-group attitudes, even the lowest amount of social phobia was related to substantially less positive out-group attitudes.
"It's not that conservative people are more fearful, it's that fearful people are more conservative. People who are scared of novelty, uncertainty, people they don't know, and things they don't understand, are more supportive of policies that provide them with a sense of surety and security," McDermott said. ...

[RBSF summary of work on immigration.]

    Posted by on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 02:44 PM in Economics, Immigration | Permalink  Comments (40)


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