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Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives’ Attitudes?

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  • Philipp Lergetporer
  • Marc Piopiunik
  • Lisa Simon

Abstract

In recent years, Europe has experienced a large influx of refugees. While natives’ attitudes toward refugees are decisive for the political feasibility of asylum policies, little is known about how these attitudes are shaped by information about refugees’ characteristics. We conducted a survey experiment with a representative sample of more than 4,000 adults in Germany in which we randomly provide information about refugees’ education level. Information provision strongly increases respondents’ beliefs that refugees are well educated. The information also increases labor market competition concerns, decreases fiscal burden concerns, and positively affects general attitudes toward refugees. We perform several robustness analyses in additional experiments with more than 5,000 university students. In sum, we show that correcting misperceptions about refugees’ education level has profound effects on natives’ attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Lergetporer & Marc Piopiunik & Lisa Simon, 2021. "Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives’ Attitudes?," ifo Working Paper Series 346, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_346
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    Cited by:

    1. Philipp Lergetporer & Marc Piopiunik & Lisa Simon, 2017. "Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives' Attitudes?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6832, CESifo.
    2. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2020. "Between Fear Mongers and Samaritans: Does Information Provision Affect Attitudes towards the Right of Asylum in Germany?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8420, CESifo.
    3. Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Educational inequality and public policy preferences: Evidence from representative survey experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    4. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2020. "Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment," IWH Discussion Papers 17/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Lergetporer, Philipp & Piopiunik, Marc & Simon, Lisa, 2021. "Does the education level of refugees affect natives’ attitudes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    6. Patrick Bareinz & Silke Uebelmesser, 2020. "The Role of Information Provision for Attitudes Towards Immigration: An Experimental Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8635, CESifo.
    7. Darya Korlyakova, 2021. "Learning about Ethnic Discrimination from Different Information Sources," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp689, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Refugees; information provision; education; survey experiment; labor market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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