Immigration and Welfare Support in Germany

Alexander Schmidt-Catran
7. Juni 2016 bei GESIS in Mannheim (Konferenzraum B2,1) 13:45 Uhr.


Abstract In recent years, several international-comparative studies have analyzed the relationship between migration and native populations’ decreasing support for redistributive policies. However, these studies typically use cross-sectional designs and aggregate the number of foreign-born residents at the national level. Both aspects are theoretically and methodologically problematic. This talk presents a study that addresses these shortcomings by estimating cross-sectional as well as longitudinal effects in the case of Germany, using a combination of individual- and regional-level data for several time points from 1994 to 2010. The results suggest that the native-born populations indeed become more reluctant to support welfare programs when the proportion of foreigners at the regional level increases. This effect is particularly strong in the initial phase of immigration, and it is further moderated by the economic context: the higher the unemployment rate, the more negative is the effect of foreigners on natives’ attitude toward providing welfare.

Zur Person Dr. Alexander Schmidt-Catran is a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne. His academic focus is the analysis of attitudes towards welfare and migration. He recently published related articles in the American Sociological Review, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of European Social Policy and the Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie and Sozialpsychologie. He also works on methodological issues, in particular multilevel modeling and the analysis of age, period and cohort (APC) effects . A recent paper on multilevel modeling with pooled cross-sectional data has been published in the European Sociological Review. His work on APC models is published in Demography. He is also co-author of “Applied Panel Data Analysis for Economic and Social Surveys” (Springer). Private website: