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The dynamic relations between economic conditions and anti-immigrant sentiment: A natural experiment in times of the European economic crisis


Kuntz, Anabel; Davidov, Eldad; Semyonov, Moshe (2017). The dynamic relations between economic conditions and anti-immigrant sentiment: A natural experiment in times of the European economic crisis. International Journal of Comparative Sociology:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Theories on intergroup relations suggest that negative attitudes toward immigrants tend to rise when economic conditions deteriorate. However, these arguments were mostly tested during times of economic prosperity in Europe. We put this theoretical expectation to test by analyzing two rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) with data from 14 West European immigration countries before (2006) and after (2010) the peak of the European economic crisis. Results show that anti-immigrant sentiments increased in countries where perceptions of economic insecurity also increased. Anti-immigrant sentiments decreased in countries where perceptions of economic insecurity declined. In contrast, changes in objective economic conditions (i.e. unemployment rates) during the same period of time did not display the expected effects in a similarly robust way.

Abstract

Theories on intergroup relations suggest that negative attitudes toward immigrants tend to rise when economic conditions deteriorate. However, these arguments were mostly tested during times of economic prosperity in Europe. We put this theoretical expectation to test by analyzing two rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) with data from 14 West European immigration countries before (2006) and after (2010) the peak of the European economic crisis. Results show that anti-immigrant sentiments increased in countries where perceptions of economic insecurity also increased. Anti-immigrant sentiments decreased in countries where perceptions of economic insecurity declined. In contrast, changes in objective economic conditions (i.e. unemployment rates) during the same period of time did not display the expected effects in a similarly robust way.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Social Networks
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:02 May 2017 12:21
Last Modified:04 Jun 2017 18:46
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0020-7152
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0020715217690434

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