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PID Seminar: Immigration Attitudes and Government Compensation (lunch provided)
November 26, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Title: "Immigration Attitudes and Government Compensation"
Abstract: Do compensation programs increase support for immigration among less educated citizens, who are some of the most vulnerable to economic openness within the developed democracies? This paper considers several arguments about how compensation might influence immigration attitudes, including the unfortunate proposition that compensation efforts may even induce less educated citizens to feel more negatively about their class identity, pushing them towards a social identity based more on the nation with greater hostility towards immigrants as national outsiders. Using cross-national survey data, it reports that greater national-level compensation can indeed be associated with less supportive immigration attitudes for the least educated citizens. This negative effect diminishes for more educated citizens, but it never becomes positive. Using a population-based sample of voting-age Americans, randomly presented with an informational vignette about U.S. compensation programs describing them as extensive, targeted towards the poor and racially inclusive, it also reports a conditional negative impact on immigration attitudes among those who were treated. The compensation treatment has a significant negative effect on immigration support for those with the least education, which weakens for those with more education.
Bio: David H. Bearce is a Professor of Political Science with a Joint Appointment in International Affairs. His topical coverage includes International Political Economy (focusing on the politics of exchange rate regimes, foreign aid, and international labor mobility) and International Organization (focusing on how inter-governmental organizations may help reduce conflict among member-states). His research on these subjects has been published in various Political Science and International Relations journals and his book, titled Monetary Divergence, was published by the University of Michigan Press.