Comparative European Politics

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 407–431 | Cite as

Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis of European Survey Data

  • Henning Finseraas
Original Article

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between perceptions of immigration and preferences for redistribution, using survey data from the European Social Survey. Some recent literature argues that hostility toward immigrants will reduce the preferred level of redistribution, primarily because people care about who they redistribute towards (the anti-solidarity hypothesis). Less attention has been paid to the possibility that immigration might be perceived as increasing the risk of income loss, something that should increase the preferred level of redistribution (the compensation hypothesis). This paper finds some evidence in favour of both hypotheses. Furthermore, the paper argues that anti-solidarity effects should be stronger in countries classified within the Social Democratic welfare state regime type and compensation effects should be stronger in countries within the Conservative welfare state regime type. There is some empirical support for this argument in the data.

Keywords

immigration redistribution public opinion 

References

  1. Aalberg, T. (2003) Achieving Justice: Comparative Public Opinion on Income Distribution, Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  2. Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S. and Robinson, J. (2001) ‘The colonial origins of comparative development: an empirical investigation’, American Economic Review 91: 1369–1401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alesina, A., Devleeschauwer, A., Easterly, W., Kurlat, S. and Wacziarg, R. (2003) ‘Fractionalization’, Journal of Economic Growth 8: 155–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alesina, A., Glaeser, E. and Sacerdote, B. (2001) ‘Why doesn't the United States have a European-style welfare state?’, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 32: 187–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alesina, A.F. and Glaeser, E.L. (2004) Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alesina, A. and La Ferrara, E. (2005) ‘Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities’, Journal of Public Economics 89: 897–931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arts, W. and Gelissen, J. (2002) ‘Three worlds of welfare capitalism or more? A state-of-the-art report’, Journal of European Social Policy 12: 137–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bay, A.H. and Pedersen, A.W. (2006) ‘The limits of social solidarity. Basic income, immigration and the legitimacy of the universal welfare state’, Acta Sociologica 49: 419–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blekesaune, M. and Quadagno, J. (2003) ‘Public attitudes toward welfare state policies: a comparative analysis of 24 nations’, European Sociological Review 19: 415–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brüker, H., Epstein, G.S., McCormick, B., Saint-Paul, G., Venturini, A. and Zimmermann, K. (2002) ‘Welfare State Provision’, in T. Boeri, G.H. Hanson and B. McCormick (eds.) Immigration Policy and the Welfare System, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cusack, T.R., Iversen, T. and Rehm, P. (2006) ‘Risk at work: the demand and supply sides of government redistribution’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 22: 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elff, M. (2007) ‘Social structure and electoral behavior in comparative perspective: the decline of social cleavages in Western Europe revisited’, Perspectives on Politics 5: 277–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  14. Estevez-Abe, M., Iversen, T. and Soskice, D. (2001) ‘Social Protection and the Formation of Skills: An Reinterpretation of the Welfare State’, in P. Hall and D. Soskice (eds.) Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fearon, J. (2003) ‘Ethnic and cultural diversity by country’, Journal of Economic Growth 8: 195–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freeman, G.P. (1986) ‘Migration and the political-economy of the welfare-state’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 485: 51–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Garrett, G. (1998) ‘Global markets and national politics: collision course or virtuous circle?’ International Organization 52: 787–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilens, M. (1995) ‘Racial-attitudes and opposition to welfare’, Journal of Politics 57: 994–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gilens, M. (1996) ‘“Race coding” and white opposition to welfare’, American Political Science Review 90: 593–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goul Andersen, J. (2006) Immigration and the Legitimacy of the Scandinavian Welfare State: Some Preliminary Danish Findings, Aalborg: Aalborg University.Google Scholar
  21. Hainmueller, J. and Hiscox, M.J. (2007) ‘Educated preferences: explaining attitudes toward immigration in Europe’, International Organization 61: 399–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hamilton, L.C. (1992) Regression with Graphics: A Second Course in Applied Statistics, Belmont, CA: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
  23. Huber, E. and Stephens, J.D. (2001) Development and Crisis of the Welfare State: Parties and Policies in Global Markets, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Iversen, T. and Soskice, D. (2001) ‘An asset theory of social policy preferences’, American Political Science Review 95: 875–893.Google Scholar
  25. Iversen, T. and Soskice, D. (2006) ‘Electoral institutions and the politics of coalitions: why some democracies redistribute more than others’, American Political Science Review 100: 165–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jæger, M.M. (2006) ‘Welfare regimes and attitudes towards redistribution: the regime hypothesis revisited’, European Sociological Review 22: 157–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kittel, B. (2006) ‘A crazy methodology? On the limits of macro-quantitative social science research’, International Sociology 21: 647–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kop, Y. (2003) Israel's Social Services 2003, The Herbert M. Singer Annual Report Series, Jerusalem: Taub Centre for Social Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  29. Korpi, W. and Palme, J. (2003) ‘New politics and class politics in the context of austerity and globalization: welfare state regress in 18 countries, 1975–95’, American Political Science Review 97: 425–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Linos, K. and West, M. (2003) ‘Self-interest, social beliefs, and attitudes to redistribution. Re-addressing the issue of cross-national variation’, European Sociological Review 19: 393–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Long, J.S. and Freese, J. (2006) Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata, 2nd edn, College Station, TX: Stata Press.Google Scholar
  32. Mayda, A.M. and Rodrik, D. (2005) ‘Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?’ European Economic Review 49: 1393–1430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moene, K.O. and Wallerstein, M. (2001) ‘Inequality, social insurance, and redistribution’, American Political Science Review 95: 859–874.Google Scholar
  34. Norris, P. (2005) Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. OECD (2004) Social Expenditure Database, Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  36. Pierson, P. (1996) ‘The new politics of the welfare state’, World Politics 48: 143–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Piketty, T. (1995) ‘Social-mobility and redistributive politics’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 110: 551–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rehm, P. (2005) Citizen Support for the Welfare State: Determinants of Preferences for Income Redistributionno. SP II 2005-02. Berlin: WZB.Google Scholar
  39. Rodrik, D. (1997) Has Globalization Gone Too Far? Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.Google Scholar
  40. Rodrik, D. (1998) ‘Why do more open economies have bigger governments?’ Journal of Political Economy 106: 997–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roemer, J.E. and Van der Straeten, K. (2005) ‘Xenophobia and the size of the public sector in France: a politico-economic analysis’, Journal of Economics 86: 95–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roemer, J.E. and Van der Straeten, K. (2006) ‘The political economy of xenophobia and distribution: the case of Denmark’, Scandinavian Journal of Economics 108: 251–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Scheve, K. and Slaughter, M.J. (2004) ‘Economic insecurity and the globalization of production’, American Journal of Political Science 48: 662–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scheve, K. and Stasavage, D. (2006) ‘Religion and preferences for social insurance’, Quarterly Journal of Political Science 1: 255–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Semyonov, M., Raijman, R. and Gorodzeisky, A. (2006) ‘The rise of anti-foreigner sentiment in European societies, 1988–2000’, American Sociological Review 71: 426–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sniderman, P., Hagendoorn, L. and Prior, M. (2004) ‘Predisposing factors and situational triggers: exclusionary reactions to immigrant minorities’, American Political Science Review 98: 35–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stephens, J.D. (1979) The Transition from Capitalism to Socialism, London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Strabac, Z. (2007) ‘Ethnic attitudes in contemporary European societies’, Doctoral theses at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, p. 197.Google Scholar
  49. Svallfors, S. (1997) ‘Worlds of welfare and attitudes to redistribution: a comparison of eight western nations’, European Sociological Review 13: 283–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van Oorschot, W. (2007) ‘Culture and social policy: a developing field of study’, International Journal of Social Welfare 16: 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Van Oorschot, W. and Uunk, W. (2007) ‘Welfare spending and the public's concern for immigrants: multilevel evidence for eighteen European countries’, Comparative Politics 40: 63–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Finseraas
    • 1
  1. 1.NOVANorway

Personalised recommendations