Right-Wing Extremism and the Well-Being of Immigrants

Andreas Knabe 1, Steffen Rätzel2, Stephan Thomsen2
1Free University Berlin, Germany, 2Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany

This study analyzes the effects of right-wing extremism on the well-being of immigrants based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 1984 to 2006 merged with state-level information on election outcomes. The results show that the life satisfaction of immigrants is significantly reduced if right-wing extremism in the native population increases. Moreover, the life satisfaction of highly educated immigrants is affected more strongly than that of low-skilled immigrants. This supports the view that policies aimed at making immigration more attractive to the high-skilled have to include measures that reduce xenophobic attitudes in the native population.

View full paper