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Economic well-being and anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes in Germany

Author

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  • Naci Mocan

    () (Louisiana State University
    NBER
    IZA)

  • Christian Raschke

    () (IZA
    Sam Houston State University)

Abstract

Abstract The fear and hatred of others who are different has economic consequences because such feelings are likely to translate into discrimination in labor, credit, housing, and other markets. The implications range from earnings inequality to intergenerational mobility. Using German data from 1996 and 2006, we analyze the determinants of racist and xenophobic feelings towards foreigners in general, and against specific groups such as Italians, Turks, and Asylum Seekers. We also analyze racist and anti-Semitic feelings towards German citizens who differ in ethnicity (Aussiedler from Eastern Europe) or in religion (German Jews). Individuals’ perceived (or actual) economic well-being is negatively related to the strength of these feelings. Education, and having contact with foreigners mitigate racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic feelings. People who live in states which had provided above-median support of the Nazi party in the 1928 elections have stronger anti-Semitic feelings today. The results are not gender-driven. They are not an artifact of economic conditions triggering feelings about job priority for German males, and they are not fully driven by fears about foreigners taking away jobs. The results of the paper are consistent with the model of Glaeser (Q J Econ 120(1):45–86, 2005) on hate, and with that of Akerlof and Kranton (Q J Econ 105(3):715–753, 2000; J Econ Perspect 19(1):9–32, 2005) on identity in the utility function.

Suggested Citation

  • Naci Mocan & Christian Raschke, 2016. "Economic well-being and anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-63, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:41:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-015-9521-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10657-015-9521-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Naci H. Mocan & Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe, 2018. "Quality of Judicial Institutions, Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Dishonesty," NBER Working Papers 24396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Naci H. Mocan & Han Yu, 2017. "Can Superstition Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? School Outcomes of Dragon Children of China," NBER Working Papers 23709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic conditions; Anti-Semitism; Xenophobia; Racism; Immigration; Aussiedler; Asylum;

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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