Previous studies of public attitudes toward immigration have been set in economically developed areas such as the United States and the countries of Western Europe, implicitly applying the term “immigrants” solely to blue‐collar laborers. In this article, we extend the discussion to Taiwan, a newly democratic and nearly developed country in East Asia.
Our study investigates public attitudes toward immigrants with different occupations and test predictions derived from both economic and cultural approaches.
From an analysis of the survey data, we find different economic factors for pro‐immigration attitudes toward foreign professionals and laborers.
Specifically, people who have higher incomes are more likely to allow foreign professionals to become citizens, and people with positive assessments of national and individual economic conditions are more likely to favor the inflow of foreign workers. Furthermore, cultural tolerance and a high level of education are correlated to pro‐migration attitudes toward both foreign professionals and laborers.