Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe
We examine the relationship between immigration and attitudes toward redistribution using a newly assembled data set of immigrant stocks for 140 regions of 16 Western European countries. Exploiting within-country variations in the share of immigrants at the regional level, we find that native respondents display lower support for redistribution when the share of immigrants in their residence region is higher. This negative association is driven by regions of countries with relatively large Welfare States and by respondents at the center or at the right of the political spectrum. The effects are also stronger when immigrants originate from Middle-Eastern countries, are less skilled than natives, and experience more residential segregation. These results are unlikely to be driven by immigrants' endogenous location choices.
We thank Francesc Ortega,Thomas Piketty, Claudia Senik, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya and Max Lobeck as well as seminar participants at the Paris School of Economics, IZA, the 67th AFSE Conference and the 17th LAGV Conference for helpful suggestions. Hillel Rapoport acknowledges support by a French government subsidy managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche under the framework of the Investissements d'Avenir, programme reference ANR-17-EURE-001. This paper follows and actually replaces a working paper entitled "Immigration and the Future of the Welfare State in Europe" (Alesina, Harnoss and Rapoport PSE working paper #2018-04 ) The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.