Is that citizen positively or negatively oriented to

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Is that citizen positively or negatively oriented to multiculturalism? Theorizing Support for European Integration Political Economy The main thrust of European integration has been to sweep away barriers to economic exchange, facilitate mobility of capital and labor, and create a single European monetary authority. So it is not surprising that explanations of public opinion on European integration have focused on economic factors. The simplest expectation is that reducing trade barriers favors citizens with relatively high income, education, and occupational skills (Gabel 1998; Inglehart 1970). There are several reasons for this. International economic openness rewards those with high levels of human capital. It increases the international substitutability of labor as firms are more able to shift production across borders, and this intensifies job insecurity, particularly for less skilled workers. Finally, international economic openness puts pressure on welfare systems and shifts the burden of taxation from mobile factors of production (e.g., financial capital) to immobile factors (e.g., labor). Economic internationalization also affects relative scarcity of assets. According to the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, trade benefits individuals who own factors with which the national economy is relatively well endowed and hurts individuals who own factors that are relatively scarce (Mayda and Rodrik 2002; O’Rourke and Sinnott 2001). Hence, in the wealthiest, most capital-rich member states we expect unskilled workers to be Euroskeptic and managers and professionals to be Euro- supportive, while in the poorest, most labor-rich member states we expect the reverse. 3 Citizens may be sensitive to their collective economic circumstances, as well as to those that affect them individually (Anderson 1998). It seems reasonable to expect that residents in countries that are net recipients of European
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2 PS July 2004 Union spending will be inclined to support European integration, while those in donor countries will tend to oppose (Brinegar et al. 2004). The same logic is often at work in regional or federal states, where poorer regions champion centralization to increase the scope for redistribution while prosperous regions favor decentralization. Subjective economic evaluations can be expected to influence public opinion on European integration alongside objective factors (Rohrschneider 2002; Eichenberg and Dalton 1993). European integration is perceived by most citizens to shape their economic welfare in a general sense. Citizens who feel confident about the economic future—personally and for their country—are likely to regard European integration in a positive light, while those who are fearful will lean towards Euroskepticism. Finally, preferences may be influenced by institutions. The European Union encompasses countries with contrasting degrees of labor and business coordination, each of which is costly to change (Hall and Soskice 2001). We assume that the further a country is from the EU median (low labor coordination, relatively high business coordination), the greater the costs imposed on its citizens by EU legislation.
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