Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe

56 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2020

See all articles by Alberto F. Alesina

Alberto F. Alesina

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elie Murard

IZA

Hillel Rapoport

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

We examine the relationship between immigration and preferences for redistribution in Europe using a newly assembled data set of immigrant stocks for 140 regions in 16 Western European countries. Exploiting within-country variations in the share of immigrants at the regional level, we find that native respondents display lower support for redistribution when the share of immigrants in their residence region is higher. This negative association is driven by regions of countries with relatively large Welfare States and by respondents at the center or at the right of the political spectrum. The effects are also stronger when immigrants originate from Middle-Eastern or Eastern European countries, are less skilled than natives, and experience more residential segregation. These results are unlikely to be driven by immigrants' endogenous location choices, that is, by welfare magnet effects or by immigrants' sorting into regions with better economic opportunities. They are also robust to instrumenting immigration with a standard shift-share approach or to controlling for regional growth prospects.

Keywords: Immigration, Income Redistribution, population heterogeneity, welfare systems

JEL Classification: D31, D64, I3, Z13

Suggested Citation

Alesina, Alberto F. and Murard, Elie and Rapoport, Hillel, Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe (December 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14211. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518549

Alberto F. Alesina (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Elie Murard

IZA ( email )

Hillel Rapoport

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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