Attitudes Toward Migrants in a Highly-Impacted Economy: Evidence from the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan

IPL Working Paper Series, No. 19-01

51 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2019 Last revised: 27 May 2020

See all articles by Ala' Alrababa'h

Ala' Alrababa'h

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Andrea Dillon

Stanford University; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Scott Williamson

Stanford University - Department of Political Science

Jens Hainmueller

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Dominik Hangartner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Stanford - Zurich Immigration Policy Lab; Public Policy Group

Jeremy M. Weinstein

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Center for Global Development

Date Written: January 29, 2019

Abstract

With international migration at a record high, a burgeoning literature has explored the drivers of public attitudes toward migrants. However, most studies to date have focused on developed countries, which have relatively fewer migrants and more capacity to absorb them. We address this sample bias by conducting a survey of public attitudes toward Syrians in Jordan, a developing country with one of the largest shares of refugees. Our analysis indicates that neither personal nor community-level exposure to the economic impact of the refugee crisis is associated with anti-migrant sentiments among natives. Further, an embedded conjoint experiment validated with qualitative evidence demonstrates the relative importance of humanitarian and cultural concerns over economic ones. Taken together, our findings weaken the case for egocentric and sociotropic economic concerns as critical drivers of anti-migrant attitudes, and demonstrate how humanitarian motives can sustain support for refugees when host and migrant cultures are similar.

Keywords: Refugees, Migration, Immigration, Middle East

Suggested Citation

Alrababa'h, Ala' and Dillon, Andrea and Williamson, Scott and Hainmueller, Jens and Hangartner, Dominik and Weinstein, Jeremy M., Attitudes Toward Migrants in a Highly-Impacted Economy: Evidence from the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan (January 29, 2019). IPL Working Paper Series, No. 19-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3325362

Ala' Alrababa'h

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab ( email )

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Andrea Dillon

Stanford University ( email )

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab ( email )

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Scott Williamson (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Jens Hainmueller

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 )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Dominik Hangartner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Departments of Government and Methodology
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Stanford - Zurich Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Public Policy Group ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Jeremy M. Weinstein

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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