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The Political Economy of Hatred

  • Edward L. Glaeser

This paper develops a model of the interaction between the supply of hatecreating 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 redistribution 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 antiSemitism in Europe, and the recent surge of anti-Americanism in the Arab world. © 2005 MIT Press

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 120 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 45-86

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:1:p:45-86
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