Alexander W. Schmidt-Catran and Dennis Spies
American Sociological Review, 81(2), pp. 242 - 261. DOI: 10.1177/0003122416633140.
Several international-comparative studies in recent years have analyzed the relationship between migration and decreasing support for redistributive policies by native populations. However, these studies rest on a cross-sectional design and aggregate the number of foreign-born residents at the national level. Both approaches are theoretically and methodologically problematic. We address these shortcomings by investigating cross-sectional as well as longitudinal effects in the case of Germany by using a combination of individual and regional-level data for several time points from 1994 to 2010. Our results suggest that the native-born population becomes more reluctant to see welfare provided when the proportion of foreigners at the regional level increases. This effect is particular strong in the initial phase of immigration and it is further moderated by the economic context: The higher the unemployment rate, the more negative is the effect of foreigners on the attitude of the natives towards providing welfare.
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