How are attitudes towards immigrants in Europe shaped by regional contexts?

Research on the relationship between the local share of immigrants and natives’ attitudes towards immigration has neglected the conditioning role of the socioeconomic environment. In their new working paper, Rezart Hoxhaj and Carolina V. Zuccotti use data from the European Social Survey (2014) in combination with aggregated data collected at the NUTS3 geographical level on 12 European countries to study this relationship. They find that an increase in the concentration of immigrants leads to more positive attitudes towards immigrants, and that this effect decreases as the socioeconomic conditions of areas worsen. In the most deprived areas (lowest GDP per capita, highest unemployment rate), however, a higher concentration of immigrants does not have an effect on attitudes.