Boundaries of Solidarity: Immigrants, Economic Contributions, and Welfare Attitudes

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In the politics of welfare, citizens often prioritize natives over immigrants. What conditions reduce welfare discrimination against immigrants? Original survey experiments from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy reveal that the divide between natives and immigrants remains the fundamental cleavage in the politics of welfare. All immigrants face welfare penalties, including immigrants from Western countries. Even young, progressive, highly educated, and economically secure native citizens strongly penalize immigrants. Although immigrants never fully overcome identity barriers, the welfare support gap between natives and immigrants decreases when immigrants have a long work history. A history of employment provides evidence of reciprocity through past contributions and signals immigrants’ commitment to the community. Other immigrants’ characteristics, such as higher education and proactive work attitude, fail to decrease the gap. This article contributes to the study of solidarity in diverse societies and the impact of immigration on the welfare state.




Magni, G. (2022). Boundaries of Solidarity: Immigrants, Economic Contributions, and Welfare Attitudes. American Journal of Political Science.

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