Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Feeling Insecure and Blaming Immigrants: relationship between subjective risks and welfare chauvinism



We argue that subjective insecurity plays an important role in explaining welfare chauvinism, which is defined as the restriction of immigrants’ access to social benefits and public services. Additionally, macroeconomic performance and welfare regime are closely related to opinions towards welfare usage by migrant groups. To test these propositions, we utilize data from the 8th round of European Social Survey and supplement it with country-level indicators. By using a multilevel ordered logit approach, we found that level of subjective unemployment and income risks are not overlapping with the objective measures, and self-assessed insecurity has a strong and positive effect on welfare chauvinism. At the macro level, higher degrees of GDP growth decrease welfare chauvinism, and Central and Eastern European welfare regime increases the likelihood of exclusionary attitudes in relative terms. The results are robust across different estimation techniques and inclusion of alternative contextual factors.


Thumbnail image of welfare chauvinism 2021.pdf


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