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Poutvaara, Panu; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich (2018): Bitterness in life and attitudes towards immigration. In: European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 55: pp. 471-490
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Worries about immigration have played a major role in the rise of extremist parties across Europe, the Brexit referendum, and Trump's presidential campaign. We show that bitter people who feel they have not gotten what they deserve in life worry more about immigration. This relationship holds for respondents with different levels of skills, job security, concerns about crime, the general economic situation, or their own economic situation. Panel estimates document a strong link between bitterness and worries about immigration after controlling for time-constant individual heterogeneity. Finally, we find that bitterness is associated with support for the extreme right.