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The Resurgence of Nativism in California? The Case of Proposition 187 and Illegal Immigration

Alvarez, R. Michael and Butterfield, Tara (1997) The Resurgence of Nativism in California? The Case of Proposition 187 and Illegal Immigration. Social Science Working Paper, 1020. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Theory: We argue that support among California voters for Proposition 187 in 1994 was an example of cyclical nativism. This nativism was provoked primarily by California's economic downturn during the early 1990s. Hypotheses: We develop four specific hypotheses to explain how poor economic conditions in California and the consequent nativistic sentiments would result in support for Proposition 187: 1. voters who believe that California's economic condition is poor will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 2. voters who perceive themselves as being economically threatened by illegal immigrants will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 3. voters with lower levels of education are more economically vulnerable and will be more likely to support Proposition 187; 4. voters in Southern California feel more directly affected by illegal immigration and will be more likely to support Proposition 187. Methods: To test these hypotheses, we analyze voter exit poll data from the 1994 California election. We utilize a two-stage probit model to allow for the endogeneity which results from the politicization of illegal immigration during this election. Results: We find support for our hypotheses in the data. These findings cause us to conclude that nativism, fueled by economic conditions, was a salient factor leading many Californians to support Proposition 187.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemPublished Version
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:We thank Garrett Glasgow, Carol Pierannanzi, and Fang Wang for their helpful discussions and Gail Nash for her assistance. The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation provided support for this research through a Faculty Fellowship to Alvarez. An earlier version of this work was presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meetings, November 1996. Published as Alvarez, R.M., & Butterfield, T.L. (2000). The resurgence of nativism in California? The case of Proposition 187 and illegal immigration. Social Science Quarterly, 167-179.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:1020
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170811-171514638
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80331
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:14 Aug 2017 16:55
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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