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The Economic Roots of Anti-immigrant Prejudice in the Global South: Evidence from South Africa

Harris, AS; Findley, MG; Nielson, DL; Noyes, KL; (2018) The Economic Roots of Anti-immigrant Prejudice in the Global South: Evidence from South Africa. Political Research Quarterly , 7 (1) pp. 228-241. 10.1177/1065912917734062. Green open access

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Abstract

Most research in developed countries on prejudice toward foreign-born minorities suggests that cultural rather than economic threat motivates xenophobia. Prior studies leave unanswered questions about the origins of anti-immigrant prejudice in developing countries, where one-third of worldwide immigration occurs. Alternatively, developing-country research simply assumes that economic threat drives prejudice in the global South but has not presented credible empirical evidence. In this study, we seek to reliably measure anti-immigrant prejudice and examine possible determinants of prejudice and prejudice-based voting behavior. Through a list experiment conducted on a random sample of South Africans (N = 1,088), we investigate the predictive power of economic threat theory in explaining prejudice toward immigrants in South Africa. The results show that significant prejudice toward immigrants exists among South Africans and that such prejudice is higher among the unemployed, but these sentiments do not seem to influence vote choice. The evidence suggests that the determinants of anti-immigrant sentiments due to South-South migration are distinct from South-North migration.

Type: Article
Title: The Economic Roots of Anti-immigrant Prejudice in the Global South: Evidence from South Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1065912917734062
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912917734062
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: South Africa, immigration, xenophobia, economic threat, voting
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041070
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