Nearly two years after it’s been accepted for publication, Marco and my article on attitudes to foreigners is now in print. We examine how Swiss citizens react to foreigners by looking at a question on equal opportunities, using data from the Swiss Household Panel. In line with much of the literature, we find that individuals with low levels of education tend to oppose foreigners. This can be accounted for individual values and beliefs. Among individuals with high levels of education, the opposition to foreigners increases when they regard their job ‘at risk’. We conclude that both economic and non-economic factors shape attitudes to foreigners, despite some recent contributions that suggest economic factors to be largely irrelevant.
It’s been a long time in the making, and took long to appear on the web, but our paper on attitudes towards foreigners is finally available at the International Migration Review. in this paper, we use data from the Swiss Household Panel to examine individual attitudes towards equal opportunities for foreigners and Swiss citizens. Various tests show that we indeed tap into attitudes towards immigrants. We find that individuals with low levels of education tend to oppose immigrants, something quite established in the literature. By contrast, there is evidence that individuals with high levels of education are less positive when their risk of unemployment increases. The negative attitudes of people with low levels of education can be explained by their values and beliefs, but not the association with the risk of unemployment for individuals with high levels of education. We interpret this that both values and economic factors are important for explaining attitudes toward foreigners, despite many recent contributions dismissing economic factors at the individual level.
I’m happy to announce that a tangible product of my SNSF project on attitudes towards foreigners has seen the light: a peer-reviewed working paper on the role of unemployment risk an values in attitudes towards foreigners.
In this paper, we examine attitudes towards foreigners at the individual level, more precisely attitudes towards equal opportunities for foreigners. Reporting that individuals with low levels of education tend to oppose equal opportunities for foreigners will not surprise anyone, but values and beliefs can account for this finding. We show that the opposition by individuals with high levels of education increases with the risk of unemployment.
The blue line is for individuals with primary and lower secondary education; the red line for individuals with upper secondary education; the green line for individuals with tertiary education.
The same pattern can be observed when we look at skills level rather than education. Individual values and beliefs cannot account for the differences related to the risk of unemployment for individuals with tertiary education.
Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2013. “A Foreigner Who Doesn’t Steal My Job: The Role of Unemployment Risk and Values in Attitudes towards Foreigners.” FORS Working Paper Series 2013 (5): 1–37.