Paper: Right-Wing Extremism and the Well-Being of Immigrants

A new study in Germany on immigration and social attitudes:

We also find that the life satisfaction of immigrants is significantly reduced if right-wing attitudes in the native-born population increase, i.e. higher vote shares for the extreme right are associated with lower subjective well-being of immigrants.

Moreover, we can clearly establish an educational effect: the life satisfaction of highly educated immigrants is affected more strongly by right-wing attitudes of the host population than that of low-skilled immigrants.

Via National Affairs, and Marginal Revolution.

The use of German data on social attitudes to migration does not allow for many lessons in Australia. While there is an extreme right in Australia, the last election actually showed they have fallen a long way from the height of their support from the late 90s and early 2000s. Rise Up Australia flopped and immigration was their central policy. Hanson bombed in the NSW Senate while Bob Katter got scooped by Clive Palmer, whose views on migration are not compatible with the far-right.

What this does show is the difficult to define value of a multicultural society. Our skilled migration policies are well tailored, allowing easy passage for highly skilled individuals. But fewer people would choose to come where prevalent social attitudes were anti-migrant. This is the long-term, unseen damage of bitter public disputes like the one ongoing in the UK at the moment.

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