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The Usual Suspects: Offender Origin, Media Reporting and Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigration

Author

Listed:
  • Sekou Keita

    (IAB - Institute for Employment Research)

  • Thomas Renault

    (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Jérôme Valette

    (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Immigration and crime are two first-order issues that are often considered jointly in people's minds. This paper analyzes how media reporting policies on crime impact natives' attitudes towards immigration. We depart from most studies by investigating the content of crime-related articles instead of their coverage. Specifically, we use a radical change in local media reporting on crime in Germany as a natural experiment. This unique framework allows us to estimate whether systematically disclosing the places of origin of criminals affects natives' attitudes towards immigration. We combine individual survey data collected between January 2014 and December 2018 from the German SocioEconomic Panel with data from more than 545,000 crime-related articles in German newspapers and data on their diffusion across the country. Our results indicate that systematically mentioning the origins of criminals, especially when offenders are natives, significantly reduces natives' concerns about immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • Sekou Keita & Thomas Renault & Jérôme Valette, 2021. "The Usual Suspects: Offender Origin, Media Reporting and Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigration," Post-Print halshs-03167833, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03167833
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03167833
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Crime; Media Bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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