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Nationalism, cognitive ability, and interpersonal relations

  • Giacomo Corneo

    ()

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12232-010-0097-2
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Review of Economics.

Volume (Year): 57 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 119-141

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Handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:57:y:2010:i:2:p:119-141
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  1. 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.
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  7. John Roemer & Karine Straeten, 2005. "Xenophobia and the Size of the Public Sector in France: A Politico-economic Analysis," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 95-144, November.
  8. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
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