Individual Characteristics, Behavioral Biases, and Attitudes toward Immigration: Evidence from a survey in Japan

         
Author Name TOMIURA Eiichi (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / ITO Banri (Research Associate, RIETI) / MUKUNOKI Hiroshi (Gakushuin University) / WAKASUGI Ryuhei (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2017 17-E-033
Research Project Empirical Studies on the Chinese Market and Trade Policy
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Abstract

This paper examines individual attitudes toward immigration and compares them with trade policy preferences based on a survey of over 10,000 respondents in Japan. People opposing both immigration and import liberalization are influenced by status-quo bias, while risk averters are more likely to be protectionists. Individuals with anti-immigrant sentiments tend to have pessimistic prospects of the national economy, dislike of changing of residential locations, or have no personal acquaintances with foreigners. These findings suggest that wide-ranging measures are required for expanding support for immigration. We also confirm the effects of such standard variables as education, occupation, unemployment, and gender.