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Wish you were here? Quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of education on self-reported attitude toward immigrants

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  • d׳Hombres, Béatrice
  • Nunziata, Luca

Abstract

We use European Social Survey and Labour Force Survey data from 2002 to 2012 to estimate the causal effect of years of education on European natives׳ opinion toward immigration, by exploiting the exogenous discontinuity generated by reforms in compulsory education in Europe in the 1940s through the 1990s. Our findings show that higher levels of education lead to a more positive reported attitude toward immigrants. We also investigate the mechanisms behind the effect of education on reported attitudes by evaluating both economic and non-economic channels. We find that higher levels of education place individuals in occupations that are less exposed to the negative effects of migration, although not in sectors/occupations where the share of migrants is necessarily smaller, suggesting that migrants and low-educated natives may be complementary rather than substitutes in the labour market. In addition, education alters values and the cognitive assessment of the role of immigration in host societies, with a positive effect on reported attitude toward diversity and on the assessment of immigration׳s role in host countries. Our findings suggest that education as a policy instrument can increase social cohesion in societies that are subject to large immigration flows.

Suggested Citation

  • d׳Hombres, Béatrice & Nunziata, Luca, 2016. "Wish you were here? Quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of education on self-reported attitude toward immigrants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 201-224.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:90:y:2016:i:c:p:201-224
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.02.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Shusaku Sasaki & Naoko Okuyama & Masao Ogaki & Fumio Ohtake, 2017. "Education and pro-family altruistic discrimination against foreigners: Five-country comparisons," ISER Discussion Paper 1002, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Colussi, Tommaso & Isphording, Ingo E. & Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," IZA Discussion Papers 10417, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Bracco, Emanuele & De Paola, Maria & Green, Colin P. & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "The effect of far right parties on the location choice of immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 12-26.
    4. Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-017-0167-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alexis Grigorieff & Christopher Roth & Diego Ubfal, 2016. "Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments," Working Papers 590, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    7. Francesca Borgonovi & Artur Pokropek, 2018. "The role of education in promoting positive attitudes towards migrants at times of stress," JRC Working Papers JRC112909, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    8. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2019. "Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment," IWH Discussion Papers 17/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. repec:eee:cysrev:v:85:y:2018:i:c:p:151-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Philipp Lergetporer & Marc Piopiunik & Lisa Simon, 2017. "Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives' Attitudes?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6832, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. TOMIURA Eiichi & ITO Banri & MUKUNOKI Hiroshi & WAKASUGI Ryuhei, 2017. "Individual Characteristics, Behavioral Biases, and Attitudes toward Immigration: Evidence from a survey in Japan," Discussion papers 17033, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Attitude toward immigrants; Perception; Education; Compulsory education reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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