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Do concerns about labor market competition shape attitudes toward immigration?

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Jens Hainmueller
Michael Hiscox
Yotam Margalit
Journal of International Economics


Are concerns about labor market competition a powerful source of anti-immigrant sentiment? Several prominent studies have examined survey data on voters and concluded that fears about the negative effects of immigration on wages and employment play a major role generating anti-immigrant attitudes. We examine new data from a targeted survey of U.S. employees in 12 different industries. In contrast with previous studies, the findings indicate that fears about labor market competition do not appear to have substantial effects on attitudes toward immigration, and preferences with regard to immigration policy, among this large and diverse set of voters.