Open Minds, Open Borders: Immigration and the Mental Well-being of Natives
47 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2019 Last revised: 9 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 8, 2020
While we know much about the economic impact of immigration for host-country residents, we know comparatively little about the psychological impact. By linking a large geo-referenced household survey with local-level immigration data, we examine the impact of rising inflows of migrants into local areas for mental well-being. Our findings suggest that inflows of migrants may have negative consequences for certain cohorts of natives. The main novelty associated with this work is that we look to understand why immigration may be impactful. Through various interaction models, we find that strength of attachment to ethnic identity, openness and particularised trust largely shape the degree to which natives will experience psychological distress (if they do at all) in response to inflows of migrants. More broadly, our results highlight the importance of invisible differences between people in shaping public reactions to demographic and cultural changes.
Keywords: psychological well-being, immigration, particularised trust, ethnic identity, openness, UKHLS, fixed effects
JEL Classification: A12, I31, J11, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation