Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe


Alesina, Alberto, Elie Murard, and Hillel Rapoport. Working Paper. “Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe”.
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We examine the relationship between immigration and attitudes toward redistribution using
a newly assembled data set of immigrant stocks for 140 regions of 16 Western European
countries. Exploiting within-country variations in the share of immigrants at the regional level, we find that native respondents display lower support for redistribution when the share of immigrants in their residence region is higher. This negative association is driven by regions of
countries with relatively large Welfare States and by respondents at the center or at the right
of the political spectrum. The effects are also stronger when immigrants originate from Middle-
Eastern countries, are less skilled than natives, and experience more residential segregation.
These results are unlikely to be driven by immigrants' endogenous location choices.

Last updated on 04/30/2020