Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Support for redistribution and the paradox of immigration

an article by Brian Burgoon and Marcel van Egmond (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Ferry Koster (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) published in Journal of European Social Policy Volume 22 Number 3 (July 2012)


This paper argues that immigration has varying implications for attitudes about government redistribution depending on the level at which immigration is experienced. Working in occupations with higher shares of foreign-born employees can raise individual economic insecurities in ways that might overwhelm the way high foreign-born shares of the population can reduce solidarity or increase fiscal burdens.

Hence, experiencing more immigration in one’s occupation might more positively affect support for government redistribution than does experiencing more national-level immigration.

We test this and other expectations on survey data in 17 European polities, focused on occupational and national measures of immigration.

While national-level exposure to foreign-born populations tends to have little effect on support for government redistribution, occupational-level exposure to immigration tends to spur such support. These results suggest that immigration directly influences the politics of inequality, but in ways more complicated than recent scholarship suggests.

No comments: