New Open Access Publication – Immigrants’ Support for Social Spending, Self‐interest and the Role of the Group: A comparative study of immigrants in The Netherlands

by Jeanette Renema & Marcel Lubbers (MIFARE)

For the MIFARE project, we have examined which factors are relevant with regards to immigrants’ support for governmental spending on unemployment benefits and social assistance. We tested the dominant self‐interest hypothesis for a number of immigrant groups in the Netherlands with highly varying socio‐economic positions. We additionally examined the effect of immigrants’ group interest by testing the relevance of in‐group immigrant benefit participation rates and their effect on support for social spending. In this article, we discuss how immigrants’ sense of belonging to a group affects the association between immigrants’ self‐ and group interests in welfare and their support for governmental spending. We found that self‐interest has explanatory relevance, and that this is strongly correlated with level of income. Results showed weak support for the effect of group interest. Moreover, the results showed a direct effect of sense of belonging on support for governmental spending, instead of the expected moderation effects of sense of belonging on the self‐ and group‐interest explanations of support.

The publication is open access and can be found here.