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What Shapes Europeans’ Attitudes toward Xeno-philia(/phobia)?

Claire Economidou (), Dimitris Karamanis, Alexandra Kechrinioti () and Sofia Xesfingi ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Migration has strongly manifested itself to historic highs, creating divisive views among politicians, policy makers and individuals. The present paper studies the Europeans’ attitudes toward immigration and the contextual factors that shape these attitudes. Based on 267,282 respondents from 22 countries and over the period 2002-2014, we find that despite the eventful past years, Europeans, on average, are still positive toward immigrants with the North European countries to be the most xenophile to immigrants of all backgrounds. High educational level and political orientation (right-wing) are among the most important individual characteristics that associate with xenophile and xenophobic sentiments, respectively. Macroeconomic conditions and ethnic diverse environments play a very important role in shaping public attitudes. A salient finding of our analysis is that regardless of the impact of other contextual factors, individuals (and countries) with high social capital do exhibit more positive attitudes toward immigration than the rest of the population (countries). Social capital further moderates the negative effects of any "perceived threat" on people’s opinions about immigrants.

Keywords: immigration; social capital; public attitude; survey; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 F22 J61 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mig and nep-soc
Date: 2017-01-31
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