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Nationalism, cognitive ability, and interpersonal relations

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  • Giacomo Corneo

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Abstract

Interpersonal relations are shaped by the judgements associated with the social categories that individuals perceive in their social contacts. I develop a model of how those judgments form based on a theory of symbolic values. The model depicts the interaction between two values, one associated with an inherited ethnic trait (nationality) and one with an endogenous achievement trait (income). Individuals with lower cognitive ability are predicted to invest more value on nationalism and to have hostile relations with immigrants. Multiple equilibria are possible and better schooling may eliminate equilibria with xenophobia. Econometric findings based on data from three large surveys corroborate the predictions derived from the theoretical model.
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Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo Corneo, 2010. "Nationalism, cognitive ability, and interpersonal relations," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(2), pages 119-141, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:57:y:2010:i:2:p:119-141 DOI: 10.1007/s12232-010-0097-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Bend it like Beckham: Ethnic identity and integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 146-164.
    4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    5. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2009. "A theory of tolerance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 691-702.
    6. Corneo, Giacomo, 2005. "Work and television," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 99-113.
    7. Maarten Vendrik & Christiane Schwieren, 2010. "Identification, screening and stereotyping in labour market discrimination," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 141-171.
    8. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 54-63.
    9. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 75-97.
    10. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 75-97.
    11. John Roemer & Karine Straeten, 2005. "Xenophobia and the Size of the Public Sector in France: A Politico-economic Analysis," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 95-144.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roy Cerqueti & Raffaella Coppier & Gustavo Piga, 2012. "Corruption, growth and ethnic fractionalization: a theoretical model," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 153-181.
    2. repec:aia:ginidp:dp17 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:3:p:768-800 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Giacomo Corneo, 2011. "GINI DP 17: Income Inequality, Value Systems and Macroeconomic Performance," GINI Discussion Papers 17, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    5. Roy Cerqueti & Raffaella Coppier & Gustavo Piga, 2012. "Corruption, growth and ethnic fractionalization: a theoretical model," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 153-181.
    6. Alexandra Avdeenko & Thomas Siedler, 2017. "Intergenerational Correlations of Extreme Right-Wing Party Preferences and Attitudes toward Immigration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 768-800, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nationalism; Xenophobia; Interpersonal relations; Value systems; Z1;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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