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


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.


immigration redistribution public opinion 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Finseraas
    • 1
  1. 1.NOVANorway

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