The opinions expressed in the papers are solely those of the author(s), and do not represent those of the organization to which the author(s) belong(s) or the Research Institute for Economics, Trade and Industry. To compare opinion on immigration with the same individual's trade policy preference, our survey asked the following question: Answer what you think about the following opinion; "We need to further liberalize imports to make a wider variety of goods available at lower prices." Respondents must choose from exactly the same set of five options as in the previous question about immigration. As in the previous question about immigration, we define Optimistic to take the value unit for those who are strongly or somewhat optimistic about the future outlook of the Japanese economy.
As resistance to imports may be rooted in concern about the safety of imported foods as a consumer, we ask the following question: When buying dairy foods or beverages, do you check for additives and country of origin.
This contrast between immigration versus imports may be due to the difference in that people compete directly in the labor market against foreign workers, but only indirectly through derived demand in the case of import competition. Third, people in managerial occupations tend to welcome the influx of foreign labor as well as of foreign goods. The marginal effect is estimated to be around the same size for both cases (eight percent).
The positive association with managerial occupation also suggests that people in charge of hiring workers tend to welcome foreign workers amid a significant decline in Japan's working-age population. We also find that the negative marginal effect of gender is larger in absolute value on imports (16%) than on immigration (6%), implying that women's opposition to immigration is less severe compared to import liberalization. Older people, especially after retirement, support import liberalization probably because they form their policy preferences more as consumers than as producers/workers.
Opposition to foreign workers is also likely to weaken among retirees, but negative reaction to foreigners among older generations may offset this effect. Among the industry dummies, agriculture (including fishing and forestry) is the only sector with a significantly negative coefficient on import liberalization. This conclusion is reliable, since the liberalization of the import of agricultural products is the most debated issue in Japanese trade policy. 19.
Model with additional variables
For example, Citrin et al. 1997) find that a pessimistic view of the national economy, not of one's own personal economic situation, leads people to anti-immigration sentiments in the United States. Regardless of whether having a child can affect the time horizon of the individual's political preference, as formalized in the dynasty. model. 20 Chandler and Tsai (2001) also report the significant impact of pessimism on anti-immigration sentiment in the United States.
Before discussing the effects of behavioral and other individual characteristics, we note that all the orthodox variables already included in the parsimonious model reported in the previous section remain essentially unchanged in this extended model. In contrast, status quo bias tends to be negatively associated with support for imports and immigration. This finding points to the important role of personal attachment or human network in the formation of political preferences.
In other words, pessimism about the future prospects of the domestic economy appears to be a strong driving force for anti-immigration. Having a child is likely to be associated with support for import liberalization, as predicted by the dynasty model. As expected, people who control foods carefully for safety reasons tend to be sensitive to imports, not immigrants.
A similarly strong connection is also found between optimism and support for immigration and imports. For other variables, we find that residential immobility is associated with opposition to migrants rather than imports, indicating their possible concern about neighborhoods surrounded by migrants. Even if not unemployed, an individual may oppose imports or immigration when living in regions with already high levels of unemployment due to social concerns for a community crowded with even more unemployed neighbors and fiscal concerns due to heavier local tax burdens. 2007) find that concern for public finances affects support for immigration to the USA22.
The regional proportion of people with university education introduces the possible regional variations in cultural tolerance or differences. Even if he/she does not complete a university education, a person cannot be strongly against imports or immigration if he/she lives in societies with more educated people. Although it is generally difficult to directly observe regional variations in this dimension, this regional proportion could serve as a convenient proxy.
The proportion of foreign residents in the region is likely to influence attitudes towards migration. Peri (2012) reports that immigration is positively related to total factor productivity in the US, but on the other hand local residents may become anti-immigrant if they are threatened by rising crime or the erosion of cultural traditions. 2012) find that constitutive characteristics (community of customs, traditions, religions and languages) are two to five times more important than concerns about wages and taxes in explaining individual views on immigration. 2007) find no significant effect of fiscal concern on import restrictions and argue that the fiscal impact of trade policy was negligible compared to US immigration.
Sample split by education
Since the educational attainment is one of the most important determinants of policy preferences, this section reports estimation results from sub-samples divided by college education. Since educated people are assumed to be skilled labor in the standard factor ratio trade theory, this sampling distribution will be informative for our discussion of individual views on immigration and imports. As Hainmueller and Hiscox (2007) discuss, college-educated people tend to have different views on immigration because of not only their labor market characteristics mentioned above, but also their exposure to ideas or tolerance of diversity.26 d'Hombres and Nunziata (2016) identify the causal effect of education on attitudes towards immigration in European countries by exploiting exogenous reforms in compulsory education.
In what follows, we focus on the variables that have different impacts on attitudes towards immigrants depending on education. Among the orthodox labor market characteristics in the basic model, whether or not the individual is unemployed is significantly related to his/her attitude toward immigration only among those with less than a college education. This contrasting finding implies that these less-skilled labor providers compete directly against foreign workers in the labor market for unskilled jobs.
26 Blonigen (2011) detects significant effects of education levels on trade policy preferences even among US retirees. Managerial occupations significantly increase the likelihood of supporting import liberalization only among those without a college education, possibly indicating that people in managerial positions are skilled workers even without a college education. For all other variables, the results are comparable between respondents with and without a college education.
As the most obvious finding, while our previous results show that risk-averse people tend to resist import liberalization strongly and immigration only weakly, the double result strengthens this observation. Respondents who support immigration but oppose import (MIG=1 and IMP=0) are significantly more risk averse, while those who support import but oppose immigration (IMP=1 and MIG=0) are significantly less risk averse . This result suggests that resistance to import liberalization is at least partly driven by fear of the risks associated with uncertain post-trade liberalization arrangements.
Even within the category of behavioral variables, the effect of status-quo bias is different from that of risk aversion. People influenced by the status quo bias tend to oppose both imports and immigration, but people who oppose immigration but support imports and people who support immigration but oppose imports are not significantly different in their status-quo bias. These findings suggest that status-quo bias appears to lead people to adopt an anti-globalization position on both immigration and imports.
For example, being optimistic about the future prospects of the domestic economy or having foreign acquaintances is significantly related to support for immigration, but not for import liberalization. Young people, women or individuals sensitive to food security tend to be protectionist, but not necessarily anti-immigration.
We have found that status-quo bias leads people to oppose globalization either through immigration or imports. Our estimation results from the split sample have also shown that people who oppose immigration due to status-quo bias are those without a college degree. 2007) “Public Finances and Individual Preferences over Globalization Strategies,” Economics and Politics Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes toward Immigration in Europe,” International Organization.
2015) “Do concerns about labor market competition shape attitudes toward immigration. 2012) “Aging, Local Birth Rates, and Attitudes Toward Immigration: Evidence from a Transition Economy,” Regional Studies. 2006) "The Impact of Immigration on the Employment of Natives in Regional Labor Markets: A Meta-Analysis," IZA Discussion Paper No. 2044, Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn. 2008) "Attitudes toward immigration: Perceived consequences and economic self-interest," Economics Letters The determinants of individual attitudes toward immigration," European Journal of Political Economy The effect of immigration on productivity: Evidence from U.S. behavioral biases and trade policy preferences: Evidence from a study in Japan." 2012) “Perceived consequences of immigration in Japan depend on the frequency of contact with foreigners,” The Japanese Economy.
As we discussed inflows of goods/services and of workers in the main text, we pick up the inflows of capital/firms and more subtle form of globalization, i.e. In both questions, respondents are required to choose from the five options as in the questions on immigration and import liberalization. As expected from our previous results on trade policy preferences in the main text, men or people with college education or in managerial occupations tend to support inward FDI or institutional harmonization.
The influence of foreign acquaintance is more than twice as strong in the support of inward FDI compared to that of institutional coordination. The effects on industry are generally insignificant, apart from a negative bias against inward FDI in the mining sector.