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Why are Public Attitudes Towards Immigration in Canada Becoming Increasingly Positive? (2022)

Posted on:
June 4, 2022

Abstract

"Why and how have public attitudes towards immigration in Canada grown more positive in the last 20 years? Can the changes in attitudes be accounted for by changes in population characteristics, or in the change in the effect of these characteristics? Did the 2008-2010 financial crisis affect support for immigration?

Our logit regression analysis shows that positive attitudes towards immigration are positively related to higher levels of education attainment regardless of the survey years but negatively associated with the support for conservative political parties, especially during and after the financial crisis. We use a decomposition analysis to investigate the shift in public opinions across individual characteristics before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis.

We find that, for all periods, most of the attitude shift results from the change in the effect of population characteristics rather than the change in the characteristics themselves. Differences in educational attainment across survey years, however, explain a small portion of the shift before and during the financial crisis, though the impact disappears after the financial crisis period. Our analysis also shows that some groups' attitudes fluctuate more than others with the economic cycle. Regardless of the financial crisis, the change in the positive opinions of the supporters of liberal parties contributes significantly to the overall shift in positive attitudes in all periods.

On the other hand, while the change in the views of the conservative party supporters and respondents with the 'weaker' perceptions of current Canadian economic conditions contributes to the overall shift in the positive attitudes in the pre-financial crisis period, their impact is reversed in the financial crisis period and thereafter."

Why_are_public_attitudes_towards_immigration_in_Canada_becoming_increasingly_positive (2022)

Summary

This reports asks: Why and how have public attitudes towards immigration in Canada grown more positive in the last 20 years? Can the changes in attitudes be accounted for by changes in population characteristics, or in the change in the effect of these characteristics? Did the 2008-2010 financial crisis affect support for immigration?
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