Date of Original Version
In this article, we explore the relationship between Americans’ attitudes toward immigrants and immigration and their attitudes toward welfare. Using data from the Cumulative American National Election Study from 1992 to 2012, we find ample evidence of the influence of immigration attitudes on both individuals’ attitudes toward welfare recipients and their attitudes toward increased welfare spending. These immigration effects persist even in the face of statistical controls for attitudes toward African Americans and attitudes toward the poor; indeed, in our models, the magnitude of the effects of immigration attitudes surpasses the magnitude of effects of attitudes toward blacks. Further, our findings of immigration effects withstand a range of robustness tests. Our results point to the possible “immigrationalization” of Americans’ welfare attitudes and provide strong evidence that how Americans think about immigration and immigrants is a major factor in how they think about welfare.
Garand, J. C., Xu, P. and Davis, B. C. (2017), Immigration Attitudes and Support for the Welfare State in the American Mass Public. American Journal of Political Science, 61: 146-162. doi:10.1111/ajps.12233
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12233