Immigration and Public Support for Social Policy: Accounting for the Gender Composition of Immigrant Populations

23.04.2024 - 13:45 to 15:15
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB A-Kolloquium
Friedolin Merhout
Lecturer affiliation: 
University of Copenhagen


With increasing global mobility, scholars have debated whether immigration undermines welfare states. So far, no conclusive evidence of a consistent association between immigration and social policy support has emerged. This might be due to treating immigrants as a monolithic mass. To begin addressing this, we account for the gender composition of immigrant populations. Drawing on research on attitudes toward immigration, immigration policy, and gendered tropes of immigrants, we develop three hypotheses detailing how the share of women among immigrants moderates that populations’ impact on individuals’ social policy support. Testing these hypotheses on ISSP and UN data, we find no evidence of a predominant demographic or co-existing immigrant threats. Instead, the results show a consistent pattern between immigration and social policy support aligning with a dominant trope of “deviant immigrant men” posing a criminal threat. Specifically, increasing immigrant populations predict reduced support as the share of women among them decreases.