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

Listed author(s):
  • Grigorieff, Alexis

    ()

    (University of Oxford)

  • Roth, Christopher

    ()

    (University of Oxford)

  • Ubfal, Diego

    ()

    (Bocconi University)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10419.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10419.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10419
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  7. Rafael Di Tella & Ricardo Perez-Truglia & Andres Babino & Mariano Sigman, 2015. "Conveniently Upset: Avoiding Altruism by Distorting Beliefs about Others' Altruism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3416-3442, November.
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  11. Ilyana Kuziemko & Michael I. Norton & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1478-1508, April.
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  14. d׳Hombres, Béatrice & Nunziata, Luca, 2016. "Wish you were here? Quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of education on self-reported attitude toward immigrants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 201-224.
  15. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2001. "Attitudes to Ethic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 353-373, April.
  16. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Inflation Expectations, Learning, and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Survey Experiments," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 1-35, July.
  17. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 445-456, 04-05.
  18. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  19. Scott Blinder, 2015. "Imagined Immigration: The Impact of Different Meanings of ‘Immigrants’ in Public Opinion and Policy Debates in Britain," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 63(1), pages 80-100, 03.
  20. Christian Dustman & Kristine Vasiljeva & Anna Piil Damm, 2016. "Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1619, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  21. Ilyana Kuziemko & Michael I. Norton & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1478-1508, April.
  22. Algan, Yann & Bisin, Alberto & Manning, Alan & Verdier, Thierry (ed.), 2012. "Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199660094.
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