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Bitter People Worry More About Immigration

Summary:
Bitter people who feel that they have not received what they deserve in life worry more about immigration. “This relationship holds for individuals with different levels of skills and job security, for both men and women, and for people from eastern and western Germany,” says Panu Poutvaara, Director of the ifo Center for International Institutional Comparisons and Migration Research. These are the key findings of new research conducted by Poutvaara together with Max Steinhardt from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. This research shows that bitterness has important political implications. Supporters of far-right and populist right-wing parties are, on average, far bitterer than mainstream party supporters. Individuals

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Bitter people who feel that they have not received what they deserve in life worry more about immigration. “This relationship holds for individuals with different levels of skills and job security, for both men and women, and for people from eastern and western Germany,” says Panu Poutvaara, Director of the ifo Center for International Institutional Comparisons and Migration Research. These are the key findings of new research conducted by Poutvaara together with Max Steinhardt from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.

This research shows that bitterness has important political implications. Supporters of far-right and populist right-wing parties are, on average, far bitterer than mainstream party supporters. Individuals without clear party preferences are somewhat bitterer than those who support mainstream parties, but less so than those supporting far-right and populist parties. “Those who do not feel represented by any established party are bitterer and more likely to switch to supporting far-right and populist parties,” suggests Poutvaara.

Publication

  1. Poutvaara, Panu and Max F. Steinhardt, "Bitterness in life and attitudes towards immigration", European Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming, Working paper version available as: CESifo Working Paper 5611 (PDF), Information | Details

Clemens Fuest
Clemens Fuest took over from Hans Werner Sinn as chairman of the IFO Institute in April 2016. He is professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Munich.

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