What Drives Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration in South Africa?

50 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2012

See all articles by Giovanni Facchini

Giovanni Facchini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

Anna Maria Mayda

Georgetown University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

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

Facchini, Giovanni and Mayda, Anna Maria and Mendola, Mariapia, What Drives Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration in South Africa? (December 2011). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 325. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2023540 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2023540

Giovanni Facchini (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

Anna Maria Mayda

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

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