According to welfare chauvinism, access to the welfare state should be reserved for the native population, whereas immigrants are seen as a drain on resources. The curious aspect of welfare chauvinism in Europe is that it is more prevalent in the East. Why is this the case? This article uses the European Social Survey (ESS) and the Life in Transition Survey (LITS) in order to locate the most robust individual-level determinants of welfare chauvinism for countries of both Eastern and Western Europe. The results suggest that there is no support for the socioeconomic explanation of welfare chauvinism. There is support for the cultural capital explanation of welfare chauvinism, but only for Western Europe. Finally, there is support for the theory that higher levels of trust lessen the likelihood that a person adopts welfare chauvinism. This finding holds for both Eastern and Western Europe.

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