What Drives Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration in South Africa?
50 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2012
Date Written: December 2011
This paper empirically investigates the determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration in South Africa using the 1996, 2001 and 2007 rounds of the World Value Survey. The main question we want to answer is whether South African public opinion on migration is affected by the potential labor market competition of migrants towards natives. We investigate this issue by estimating the impact of survey respondents’ individual skill on their pro-migration attitudes. Our estimates show that the impact of individual skill – measured both with educational attainment and an occupation based measure – is positive and significant in both 1996 and 2001. Given that in both years immigrants to South Africa are on average more skilled than natives, we conclude that the labor-market channel does not play a role in preference formation over immigration. What might explain the positive impact of individual skill are non-economic determinants.
Keywords: Immigration Attitudes, South Africa
JEL Classification: F22, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation