When are individuals more likely to support immigration? We suggest here that regional international organizations (IOs; for example, the European Union) publicly release reports about the scale and benefits of immigration to member states in the region in which these IOs operate. We argue that unlike individuals who are uninformed about immigration, informed individuals who have more knowledge of the main regional IO in which their country participates will be more likely to employ immigration reports released by their regional IO to construct their immigration attitudes. They will also perceive that these reports are credible. The credibility of these reports helps individuals with more knowledge about their region's main IO to view immigrants favorably, which translates to support for immigration. We test our prediction by developing a finite mixture model that statistically accounts for the econometric challenges that emerge when uninformed individuals "save face" by disproportionately opting for the middle "status quo" category in ordinal survey response variables of immigration support. Results from the finite mixture model corroborate our prediction and are more reliable than estimates from a standard ordered probit model.
- finite mixture models
- individual immigration attitudes
- regional international organizations