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Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments

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  • Alexis Grigorieff
  • Christopher Roth
  • Diego Ubfal

Abstract

We study whether providing information about immigrants affects people’s attitude towards them. First, we use a large representative cross-country experiment to show that, when people are told the share of immigrants in their country, they become less likely to state that there are too many of them. Then, we conduct two online experiments in the U.S., where we provide half of the participants with five statistics about immigration, before evaluating their attitude towards immigrants with self-reported and behavioral measures. This more comprehensive intervention improves people’s attitude towards existing immigrants, although it does not change people’s policy preferences regarding immigration. Republicans become more willing to increase legal immigration after receiving the information treatment. Finally, we also measure the same self-reported policy preferences, attitudes, and beliefs in a four-week follow-up, and we show that the treatment effects persist. Keywords: Biased Beliefs, Survey Experiment, Immigration, Policy Preferences, Persistence. JEL classification: C90, J15, Z1, Z13

Suggested Citation

  • Alexis Grigorieff & Christopher Roth & Diego Ubfal, 2016. "Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments," Working Papers 590, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:590
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    Cited by:

    1. Facchini, Giovanni & Margalit, Yotam & Nakata, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns," IZA Discussion Papers 10420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Philipp Lergetporer & Marc Piopiunik & Lisa Simon, 2017. "Do Natives' Beliefs About Refugees' Education Level Affect Attitudes Toward Refugees? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 6832, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Fabrizio Patriarca & Rama Dasi Mariani & Eugenio Levi, 2017. "Hate at First Sight? Dynamic Aspects of the Electoral Impact of Migrations: The Case of the UK and Brexit," SPRU Working Paper Series 2017-21, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext350 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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