Quantifying Determinants of Immigration Preferences

Ole-Petter Moe Hansen

Abstract

This paper quantifies the relative importance of determinants of individual immigration preferences. We develop and estimate a new latent-factor model using a large survey data set on eighteen countries from the European Social Survey from 2014 and 2015. Identifying at the individual level economic concerns about immigration, worries about compositional amenities, racism, and altruism as drivers of immigration-related preferences, the estimation results show that racism is quantitatively the most important factor. It is about as important as the joint effect of worries about the economic and non-economic effects of immigration. Finally, we document that altruism raises significantly the support for immigration, although it is quantitatively less important than the other factors.