Endorsement of wage discrimination against immigrants: Results from a multifactorial survey experiment in Israeli society

Moshe Semyonov*, Anastasia Gorodzeisky, Rebeca Raijman, Thomas Hinz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the present research we examine, first, the extent to which the Israeli public endorse wage-gaps between immigrants and comparable non-immigrant workers (employed in identical low-wage jobs), and second, whether the endorsement of wage discrimination against immigrants is associated with immigrants’ characteristics. Data for the analysis were obtained from a representative sample of the Jewish population in Israel (N = 600). We implemented a multifactorial survey experiment design including immigrants’ characteristics such as continent of origin, education, religion, and reason for migration. The experimental setup contained 252 vignettes. Vignette decks were randomly assigned to the respondents for evaluation of the fairness of the wage-gaps between immigrants and comparable non-immigrant workers. Analysis of the data leads to a twofold conclusion. First, justification of wage discrimination against immigrants is widespread. Second, justification of wage discrimination is influenced by immigrants’ characteristics, being most pronounced (even extreme) in the case of clearly defined “outgroup” populations (Muslims and Christians, asylum seekers and labor migrants) and least pronounced in the case of immigrants belonging to the dominant “in-group” population (Jews and repatriates). In addition, endorsement of discrimination tends to increase with respondents’ levels of prejudice, fear of cultural change, and economic threat. The findings and their meaning are discussed in light of theories on economic discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100891
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Volume89
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
California Department of Fish and Game
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftEXC 2035/1 – 390681379
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Anti-immigrant sentiment, Economic Discrimination
    • Factorial Survey Experiment
    • Immigration
    • Israeli society

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