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Who is Afraid of Immigration and Why?

Conducted by:

Dr. Odelia Heizler / School of Management and Economics; Dr. Osnat Israeli / Ashkelon Academic College

Immigration undoubtedly has an important impact on the host countries: on their labor and housing markets, on international trade and sometimes on their cultural and social composition. Immigration policy often stands at the focus of public discussion and has become a political issue that is prominently debated in public policy discussions.

In the research, we use the European Social Survey (ESS) in order to inspect the local population’s sentiments toward immigration. We will study how age, education, gender, family composition and economics status affect those sentiments.

Negative sentiments toward immigrants may arise from economic concerns such as a fear that immigrants are taking jobs away from natives, or that more taxes will be needed for their absorption. Negative sentiments may also arise from fears of public order disruption, of a possible change in social composition or simply from prejudice. In our research we suggest a multidimensional measure pointing to the sources of those sentiments and their change over time.

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