Individual and Context Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigration in Latin America

MartĂ­n Koolhaas , Universidad de la Republica

Latin-American migration recently underwent remarkable transformations. Intra-regional migration kept increasing in magnitude and diversifying by origins. Simultaneously, a stream of human rights-based migration policies was enforced in this region, which, together with economic and employment growth, contributed to produce an immigration-friendly atmosphere. However, the evidence on the economic performance of recently arrived migrants in the South Cone countries has shown lower employment rates, occupation-education mismatch, lower wages, and more informal employment respect to natives. This paper contributes to the understanding of the gap between natives and immigrants in Latin American labour markets and societies, by assessing the hosting societies’ perspective towards immigration. We examine which individual and country-specific characteristics foster the idea that immigration increases competition in labour market among natives at active ages. Using 2015 Latinobarómetro for 18 Latin American countries, we specify multilevel logit-binomial models with fixed and random effects for country to predict the probability of fearing an increase in labour market competition due to immigration. We assess the effect of the individual´s employment status, as well as the unemployment and economic growth rates´ effect on the probability of thinking that immigrants compete for jobs with natives.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy