“The Impact of Education on Anti-Immigrant Attitudes” How does education affect attitudes towards immigrants? Shifting the scholarly focus from levels of education to educational content, I argue that the effect of education depends on the approaches to national identification that educational content promotes. Specifically, content that promotes national belonging based on fixed attributes fosters more negative attitudes towards immigrants because it emphasizes an exclusive notion for national membership. To test the implications of my theory, I leverage a textbook reform by the Taiwanese government that introduced a new narrative promoting Taiwanese identity based on a common ancestral and historical background. Using a difference-in-differences design that compares academic and vocational paths affected differently by the textbook reform, I find that the consumption of educational content emphasizing inflexible national identification induces exclusionary attitudes towards immigrants. The evidence suggests that higher levels of education do not necessarily increase positive attitudes towards outsiders — it depends on what is taught.
“The Effect of Country-of-Origin Stereotypes on Attitudes towards Immigrants” How do immigrants’ country of origin influence natives’ attitudes towards them? Recent research suggests that immigrants’ country of origin works as a heuristic cue for natives to infer cultural distance, associating the source country with ascriptive characteristics. This paper seek to emphasize another important process through which country-of-origin effects operate: by evoking positive or negative beliefs about certain characteristics of countries and their members. Drawing on the stereotype content model (SCM), I investigate whether preferences for immigrant acceptance vary based on the different degrees of perceived competence and warmth regarding a source country. The results from a novel conjoint experiment in Japan show that Japanese natives who associate immigrants’ country of origin with low competence and warmth report less favorable attitudes towards immigrants for any given attribute-levels. In contrast, high perceived competence and warmth have a limited influence on how Japanese natives evaluate immigrants. Specifically, natives who associate immigrants’ country with high competence tend to forgive undesirable attribute-levels while those who relate the country of origin to high warmth are likely to reward desirable attribute-levels. My findings warn against the negative preexisting stereotypes and suggest an strategy to create increased levels of immigrant acceptance.
“Immobile Capital: The Impact of High Skill Intensive Firms on Immigration Policy” What causes variations for high-skill intensive (HSI) firms in demanding for high-skilled immigrants? I argue that the degree to which an HSI firm possesses key resources that need to be protected through domestic government determines its preferences for high-skilled immigrants. To prevent a spillover of their critical resources, firms take advantage of intellectual property rights regulations which in turn chain them in the domestic market because the rights are territorial in nature. The immobility stemming from the safeguard leads firms to demand high-skilled immigrants to fill a labor shortage. The demand is stronger for firms operating in a state where one party controls both the House and Senate because the presence of a dominant party makes legislators more responsive to the special interests. Using a novel firm-level lobbying data for S&P 500 companies from 1998 to 2015, I find that HSI firms lobby for high-skill targeted policies as the number of intangible assets increases. The result suggests that HSI firms’ high-skill immigration policy demand is a strategic response to the immobility originating from characteristics of the firms’ essential resources under a favorable political environment.
Works In Progress
“Historical Narratives and Anti-Immigrant Attitudes”
“Measuring Elite Anti-Immigration Discourse in Japan’s National Congress”