Determinants of Attitudes Toward Immigration

When measuring attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policy in the United States, extant scholarship relies mainly on demographic traits and economic arguments as explanatory variables (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2014, 2015). There is solid support for sociotropic explanations of support for immigration, such as perceptions of highly skilled immigrants’ potential contributions to society at large (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2014, 2015), as well as ethnocentric reasons for resistance (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2015; Valentino, Brader, and Jardina 2012). The literature is less favorable to labor market theories (Hainmueller and Hopkins), though sufficient evidence of the influence of household economic conditions exists to preclude their exclusion (Wilkinson 2015).

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