Illegal Immigration and Media Exposure: Evidence on Individual Attitudes
Anna Maria Mayda
Georgetown University - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
University of Pavia; University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)
November 19, 2009
Illegal immigration has been the focus of much debate in receiving countries, but little is known about what drives individual attitudes towards illegal immigrants. To study this question, we use the CCES survey, which was carried out in 2006 in the United States. We find evidence that - in addition to standard labor market and welfare state considerations - media exposure is significantly correlated with public opinion on illegal immigration. Controlling for education, income and ideology, individuals watching Fox News are 9 percentage points more likely than CBS viewers to oppose the legalization of undocumented immigrants. We find an effect of the same size and direction for CNN viewers, whereas individuals watching PBS are instead more likely to support legalization. Ideological self-selection into different news programs plays an important role, but cannot entirely explain the correlation between media exposure and attitudes about illegal immigration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Attitudes, Preferences, Media
JEL Classification: F22, F1, J61working papers series
Date posted: November 26, 2009
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