DP5544 | Scared by Foreigners and their Products? Survey Evidence from France

Publication Date

02/03/2006

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Abstract

The paper studies attitudes toward immigration and trade using an opinion survey of two thousand French individuals. We find that, beyond usual Stolper-Samuelson effects (skilled individuals are more pro-free trade than others, as in other countries) attitudes toward trade and immigration are correlated and both are ideologically loaded. Right-wing affiliation is robustly associated with protectionism. Moreover, right-wing protectionism concerns not just agriculture but appears to be a broader attitude. It may help explain the predominantly anti-trade rhetoric of France's right-wing governments, although outsiders would expect them to pursue more pro-market and pro-free trade policies than left-wing ones.