Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: A Trade-Theoretic Approach

CEPR Discussion Paper Series Number 1877

Posted: 25 Sep 1998

See all articles by Jean-Marie Grether

Jean-Marie Grether

University of Neuchatel - Institute for Economic and Regional Research (IRER)

Jaime de Melo

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank

Sanoussi Bilal

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Date Written: May 1998

Abstract

This paper uses a three-factor (capital, low- and high-skill labour), two-household (low- and high-skill individuals), two-sector trade model to analyse the determinants of voter attitudes towards immigration under direct democracy and identify factors that would be coherent with both the observed increase in the skilled-unskilled wage differential and the stiffening attitudes towards low-skill capital-poor immigration. If the import-competing sector is intensive in the use of low-skill labour, and capital is the middle factor, an improvement in the terms of trade or neutral technical progress in the exporting sector leads nationals to oppose immigration of capital-poor low-skill households. An increase in income inequality is also likely to stiffen attitudes towards this type of capital-poor, low-skill immigration prevalent in Europe until recently.

JEL Classification: D72, F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Grether, Jean-Marie and de Melo, Jaime and Bilal, Sanoussi, Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: A Trade-Theoretic Approach (May 1998). CEPR Discussion Paper Series Number 1877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=125232

Jean-Marie Grether (Contact Author)

University of Neuchatel - Institute for Economic and Regional Research (IRER) ( email )

Pierre-a-Mazel 7
Neuchatel, CH-2000
Switzerland
+41 32 718 13 56 (Phone)
+41 32 718 14 01 (Fax)

Jaime De Melo

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics ( email )

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Geneva 4, CH-1211
Switzerland
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+41 22 705 8293 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unige.ch/ses/ecopo/demelo/Jaime.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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United Kingdom

World Bank ( email )

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United States

Sanoussi Bilal

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) ( email )

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Netherlands
+31-43- 350 29 00 (Phone)
+31-43-350 29 02 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.ecdpm.org

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