Seminar: The determinants of public attitudes to migration

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Seminar Room, Villa Malafrasca, Migration Policy Centre
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As part of the Migration Policy Centre seminar series, Lenka Dražanová and Anne-Marie Jeannet will present their work under the theme of “The determinants of public attitudes to migration”.

Time: 11.00 – 12.30
The Effect of Education on Immigration Attitudes: What Contextual Factors Influence the Effect of Education on Attitudes Towards Immigrants?Lenka Dražanová


The positive relationship between education and various liberal attitudes is one of the most often-assumed relationships in empirical social research. Education has also been found to be conducive to more liberal immigration attitudes. To what extent this relationship reflects a universal effect of education is, however, still unknown. This article investigates to what extent the effect of education on attitudes to immigrants varies across countries and aims to explain these cross-national differences. Data are drawn from the European Social Survey Round 8 (2016) across 20 countries at the micro-level and from multiple sources on country characteristics at the macro-level. Multilevel ordinal logistic regression models, adjusted predicted probabilities as well as average marginal effects are employed in order to investigate what macro-level factors moderate the relationship between education and attitudes towards immigrants. Results suggest that democratic tradition, religious heterogeneity and higher levels of economic development strengthen the significant differences in pro-immigrant attitudes between the university educated compared to those with lower education.

The Impact of New Waves of Immigration on Attitudes towards Immigration: The Case of Europe’s ‘Big Bang’ EnlargementAnne-Marie Jeannet


Currently, the theoretical understanding of attitudes to immigration does not reflect the complexity and fragmented nature of inter-group relations in host societies brought on by global immigration. This paper aims to improve this understanding by investigating how the emergence of new immigrant groups impact native attitudes towards immigration in general. It presents a new conceptual framework of new immigrant groups which I argue can be understood through three features: 1) group prominence, 2) group accumulation, and 3) and group relevance. I then empirically investigate the effect of these features on attitudes towards immigration using the case of new migration from East to Western Europe. Using quasi-experimental techniques and an instrumental variable approach, I present the results in a comparative perspective