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

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  • Grigorieff, Alexis

    (University of Oxford)

  • Roth, Christopher

    (University of Warwick)

  • Ubfal, Diego

    (World Bank)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Grigorieff, Alexis & Roth, Christopher & Ubfal, Diego, 2016. "Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 10419, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10419
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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    3. Felix Karstens, 2020. "How public discourse affects attitudes towards Freedom of Movement and Schengen," European Union Politics, , vol. 21(1), pages 43-63, March.
    4. Matteo Gamalerio, 2018. "Not Welcome Anymore: The Effect of Electoral Incentives on the Reception of Refugees," CESifo Working Paper Series 7212, CESifo.
    5. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    6. Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "Incentives, search engines, and the elicitation of subjective beliefs: evidence from representative online survey experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 7556, CESifo.
    7. 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.
    8. Alesina, Alberto F & Miano, Armando & Stantcheva, Stefanie, 2018. "Immigration and Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 13035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. 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).
    10. Jonas Hjort & Diana Moreira & Gautam Rao & Juan Francisco Santini, 2021. "How Research Affects Policy: Experimental Evidence from 2,150 Brazilian Municipalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(5), pages 1442-1480, May.
    11. Andrea F.M. Martinangeli & Lisa Windsteiger, 2019. "Immigration vs. Poverty: Causal Impact on Demand for Redistribution in a Survey Experiment," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2019-13, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    12. McGinnity, Fran & Grotti, Raffaele & Russell, Helen & Fahey, Éamonn, 2018. "Attitudes to Diversity in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT350.
    13. Katharina Werner, 2019. "Der Einfluss von Informationen auf die öffentliche Meinung zur Bildung - Erkenntnisse aus repräsentativen Befragungsexperimenten," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 82, November.
    14. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    15. Ivar Kolstad & Sosina Bezu & Päivi Lujala & Minhaj Mahmud & Arne Wiig, 2019. "Does changing the narrative improve host community attitudes to climate migrants? Experimental evidence from Bangladesh," CMI Working Papers 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    16. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher, 2019. "Beliefs About Racial Discrimination and Support for Pro-Black Policies," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 2/2019, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    17. 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.
    18. Werner, Katharina, 2018. "Obstacles to Efficient Allocations of Public Education Spending," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 128, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    19. Lisa Simon, 2019. "Mikroökonometrische Analysen der Determinanten von Individuellem Arbeitsmarkterfolg," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 83, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    attitudes towards immigrants; biased beliefs; survey experiment; immigration; policy preferences; persistence;
    All these keywords.

    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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