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Attitudes towards immigrants, other integration barriers, and their veracity

Amelie F. Constant (DIW DC, Washington, DC, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and IZA, Bonn, Germany)
Martin Kahanec (IZA, Bonn, Germany)
Klaus F. Zimmermann (Bonn University, Bonn, Germany, IZA, Bonn, Germany, and DIW Berlin, Berlin, Germany)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 27 March 2009




The purpose of this paper is to study opinions and attitudes towards immigrants and minorities and their interactions with other barriers to minorities' economic integration. Specifically, the minority experts' own perceptions about these issues, the veracities and repercussions of unfavorable attitudes of natives are to be considered.


Employing newly available data from the IZA Expert Opinion Survey 2007 main trends in the integration situation of ethnic minorities in Europe are depicted in a comparative manner.


Robust findings show that: ethnic minorities face integration problems; natives' general negative attitudes are a key factor of their challenging situation; discrimination is acknowledged as the single most important integration barrier; low education and self‐confidence as well as cultural differences also hinder integration; minorities want change and that it comes about by policies based on the principle of equal treatment.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should not only investigate how negative attitudes are formed but also study their dynamics with respect to integration policies.

Practical implications

Well‐designed integration policies, that take the specific situation of the respective ethnic minority into account, are persistent and enforcement of anti‐discrimination laws is desirable.


Using a unique dataset, the innovative study is the first to gauge the perspectives of expert stakeholders and ethnic minorities on their integration situation and the main barriers that hinder it.



Constant, A.F., Kahanec, M. and Zimmermann, K.F. (2009), "Attitudes towards immigrants, other integration barriers, and their veracity", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 30 No. 1/2, pp. 5-14.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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