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The Political Economy of Hatred

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  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

This paper develops a model of the interaction between the supply of hate-creating stories from politicians and the willingness of voters to listen to hatred. Hatred is fostered with stories of an out-group's crimes, but the impact of these stories comes from repetition not truth. Hate-creating stories are supplied by politicians when such actions help to discredit opponents whose policies benefit an out-group. Egalitarians foment hatred against rich minorities; opponents of re-distribution build hatred against poor minorities. Hatred relies on people accepting, rather than investigating, hate-creating stories. Hatred declines when there is private incentive to learn the truth. Increased economic interactions with a minority group may provide that incentive. This framework is used to illuminate the evolution of anti-Black hatred in the United States South, episodes of anti-Semitism in Europe, and the recent surge of anti-Americanism in the Arab world.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:1:p:45-86.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/0033553053327434
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