chapter  5
Individual Attitudes towards Immigration: Economic vs. Non-economic Determinants
ByGIOVANNI FACCHINI, ANNA MARIA MAYDA, AND RICCARDO PUGLISI
Pages 29

Immigration is one of the most salient policy issues in many high-income countries. Recent Gallup polls suggest that immigration was considered to be the second most important problem facing the U.S. in 2006 and 2007, with 13 and 24 percent, respectively, of respondents mentioning it. Recent Eurobarometer surveys have highlighted similar patterns in EU member countries as well.1 Both supply and demand determinants aff ect immigration. Migration fl ows are driven, on the supply side, by migrants’ decisions to move and, on the demand side, by destination countries’ migration policies. In turn, both economic and non-economic drivers shape destination countries’ migration policies. For example, immigration regulations are often adjusted in response to the economic needs of natives in the destination countries.2 In addition, broad changes in values result in the substantial redesign of immigration policies.3 Economic and non-economic drivers often aff ect destination countries’ immigration policies by fi rst shaping public opinion on immigration. Thus, understanding what drives voters’ preferences towards immigration is an important research question, both for the purpose of carrying out descriptive political economy analysis as well as for understanding the design of immigration policies in democratic societies. A substantial literature has recently developed-both in economics and in political science-to tackle this issue.