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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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    2. Tommaso Colussi & Ingo E. Isphording & Nico Pestel, 2021. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 237-271, July.
    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. Albarrán, Pedro & Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Marisa & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo, 2020. "Education and adult health: Is there a causal effect?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 249(C).
    5. 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).
    6. Deole, Sumit S. & Huang, Yue, 2020. "Suffering and prejudice: Do negative emotions predict immigration concerns?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 644, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Philipp Lergetporer & Marc Piopiunik & Lisa Simon, 2017. "Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives' Attitudes?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6832, CESifo.
    8. José A. Robles-Zurita, 2017. "Cognitive skills and the LOGSE reform in Spain: evidence from PIAAC," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 401-415, November.
    9. Sander Kunst & Theresa Kuhn & Herman G van de Werfhorst, 2020. "Does education decrease Euroscepticism? A regression discontinuity design using compulsory schooling reforms in four European countries," European Union Politics, , vol. 21(1), pages 24-42, March.
    10. Daria Denti & Alessandra Faggian, 2021. "Where do angry birds tweet? Income inequality and online hate in Italy," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 14(3), pages 483-506.
    11. Mirjam Bächli & Teodora Tsankova, 2021. "Does Labor Protection Increase Support for Immigration? Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 9373, CESifo.
    12. 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.
    13. 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).
    14. Marcus Österman, 2021. "Can We Trust Education for Fostering Trust? Quasi-experimental Evidence on the Effect of Education and Tracking on Social Trust," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 211-233, February.
    15. Deole, Sumit S. & Huang, Yue, 2021. "Suffering and prejudice: Do negative emotions predict immigration concerns?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 644 [rev.], Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2020. "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).
    17. Helland, Hege Stein & Križ, Katrin & Sánchez-Cabezudo, Sagrario Segado & Skivenes, Marit, 2018. "Are there population biases against migrant children? An experimental analysis of attitudes towards corporal punishment in Austria, Norway and Spain," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 151-157.
    18. Mª Ángeles Caraballo & Eva Mª Buitrago, 2019. "Ethnolinguistic Diversity and Education. A Successful Pairing," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(23), pages 1-18, November.
    19. 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).
    20. Snower, Dennis J. & Bosworth, Steven J., 2021. "Economic, social and political fragmentation: Linking knowledge-biased growth, identity, populism and protectionism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    21. Lena De Botton & Raul Ramos & Marta Soler-Gallart & Jordi Suriñach, 2021. "Scientifically Informed Solidarity: Changing Anti-Immigrant Prejudice about Universal Access to Health," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(8), pages 1-14, April.
    22. Deole, Sumit S. & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2021. "Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets," GLO Discussion Paper Series 793, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Attitude toward immigrants; Perception; Education; Compulsory education reforms;
    All these keywords.

    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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