Edited by Gary P. Freeman and Nikola Mirilovic
Chapter 17: Heterogeneity in the impact of immigration on social welfare spending
There is a burgeoning literature on the impact that immigration – and the social diversity that comes with it – may have on the welfare state. The central concern has been that the interpersonal trust on which a highly redistributive state relies is more difficult to sustain in highly diverse societies. There is ample evidence of a negative relationship between intolerance for diversity and support for social spending at the individual level, across a wide range of countries (e.g. Gilens 1999; Harell, Soroka and Ladner 2013); there is some empirical evidence of a negative relationship between immigration and social spending at the aggregate level as well, but there is also some work that finds no such relationship (e.g. Nannestad 2007; Portes and Vickstrom 2011; Soroka et al. 2006; Stichnoth and Straeten 2013). Recent research argues for the importance of taking into account moderating variables (e.g. Banting et al. 2006; Taylor-Gooby 2005; Lipsmeyer and Zhu 2011).
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