Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2106116
 
 

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The Hidden American Immigration Consensus: A Conjoint Analysis of Attitudes Toward Immigrants


Jens Hainmueller


Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business

Daniel J. Hopkins


Georgetown University

August 30, 2012

MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-22

Abstract:     
A large literature has examined the factors that influence immigration attitudes. Yet prior tests have considered only a few immigrant attributes at a time, limiting their capacity to test several hypotheses simultaneously. This paper uses conjoint analysis to test the influence of nine randomized immigrant attributes in generating support for admission. Drawing on a two-wave, population-based panel survey, it demonstrates that Americans view educated immigrants in high-status jobs favorably, while they view those who lack plans to work, entered without authorization, come from Iraq, or do not speak English unfavorably. The results are consistent with norms-based and sociotropic explanations of immigration attitudes. Remarkably, Americans' preferences vary little with their education, partisanship, labor market position, ethnocentrism, or other attributes. Beneath partisan divisions over immigration lies a consensus about which immigrants to admit, a fact which points to limits in both theories emphasizing economic threats and those emphasizing cultural threats.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: immigration, attitudes, conjoint analysis, public opinion

JEL Classification: F22, F1, J15

working papers series


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Date posted: July 15, 2012 ; Last revised: September 1, 2012

Suggested Citation

Hainmueller, Jens and Hopkins, Daniel J., The Hidden American Immigration Consensus: A Conjoint Analysis of Attitudes Toward Immigrants (August 30, 2012). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-22. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2106116 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2106116

Contact Information

Jens Hainmueller (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/
Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
Daniel J. Hopkins
Georgetown University ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.danhopkins.org
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