Risk Preferences and Immigration Attitudes: Evidence from Four East Asian Countries

Kyusun Shim, Yun Suk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Economic interests, such as increased job market competition or tax burden in the host countries, often explain attitudes toward immigration. Some empirical studies that have adopted this economic perspective report, however, that an individual's economic circumstances are not directly linked to his or her attitudes toward immigration, emphasizing that people can have different interpretations even under the same circumstances. We argue that risk preferences (i.e., willingness to take risks) shape personal perceptions about the costs and benefits of immigrant workers in the job market and immigration. Using the 2008 East Asian Social Survey from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, we find that individuals who like to take more risks are more likely to be positive about immigration. Our study indicates the importance of psychological tendency in the formation of native citizens' attitudes toward immigration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018


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