This paper analyzes whether the human capital levels embodied in immigrants can explain xenophobic trends for 209 regions in 29 European countries from 1998 to 2018. During the previous decade, migration inflows into Western Europe have been associated with rising nationalism and sentiments of xenophobia. However, if rising xenophobia is directed towards poor migrants and not rich ones, then the rejection of migration itself could be misguided and masking the rejection of the poor. In other words, “aporophobia” might be misconceived as xenophobia. To this end, this study provides evidence of aporophobia in Europe using the European Labor Force Survey (EULFS), European Social Survey (ESS), Eurostat and OECD regional data. The preliminary results indicate that larger inflows of highly educated immigrants are significantly correlated with a lower rejection of migrants. These results suggest that xenophobic regions may, in fact, be rejecting only poor migrants and not rich ones. The rejection of the poor has been scarcely studied in economic literature, and not much is known about it. The findings in this paper bring light to the discussion of a powerful concept which underpins a more just society.
Translated title of the contributionDisentangling Aporophobia from Xenophobia in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021
EventIARIW Virtual General Conference -
Duration: 23 Aug 202127 Aug 2021
Conference number: 36th


ConferenceIARIW Virtual General Conference
Internet address


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