Immigration Attitudes and Immigrant Doctor Location Patterns

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1131 SS&H Gold Room

Recent research from Europe has found that immigrants are less likely to move to locations politically run by far-right parties. With two large political parties in the U.S., there is no far-right or far-left party. Nevertheless, perceptions about anti-immigrant attitudes and policies may affect immigrant location decisions. These decisions may have significant repercussions, particularly in the case of high-skilled immigrants. In this study, we focus on an immigrant group of particular importance—immigrant doctors. In the context of severe doctor shortages, when close to 90 percent of U.S. counties are designated as wholly or partially Health Professional Shortage Areas, around 30 percent of U.S. physicians are foreign-born. Using data on doctor location and characteristics from the American Medical Association Masterfile, combined with data on local voting patterns, sentiment analysis of immigration-related tweets, and data from the American National Election Studies opinion surveys, we investigate whether and how immigrant doctor location decisions are affected by local immigration attitudes and political circumstances.

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