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Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns

Listed author(s):
  • Facchini, Giovanni

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Margalit, Yotam

    ()

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Nakata, Hiroyuki

    ()

    (University of Leicester)

Popular sentiment toward immigration is often antagonistic, making the integration of migrants one of the most important yet daunting challenges facing societies in advanced economies. Can information campaigns decrease public opposition to immigration? This paper reports results from a large-scale experiment conducted in Japan, a country with widespread anti-immigration sentiment. Embedded in a comprehension study, we randomly exposed a large national sample of citizens to information pertaining to potential social and economic benefits from immigration. Depending on the treatment, we find that this exposure led to a substantial increase in support for a more open immigration policy. The treatments also motivated citizens to take political action in support of this cause. Notably, while smaller in magnitude, many effects also persisted 10-12 days after the treatment. The results highlight the potential value of combating enmity to incoming foreigners with campaigns that inform the public about key positive impacts of immigration.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10420.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10420
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  1. 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.
  2. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J. & Margalit, Yotam, 2015. "Do concerns about labor market competition shape attitudes toward immigration? New evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 193-207.
  3. Sides, John & Citrin, Jack, 2007. "European Opinion About Immigration: The Role of Identities, Interests and Information," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(03), pages 477-504, July.
  4. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, 03.
  5. Jack Citrin & John Sides, 2008. "Immigration and the Imagined Community in Europe and the United States," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 56, pages 33-56, 03.
  6. Marc Helbling & Tim Reeskens & Dietlind Stolle, 2015. "Political Mobilisation, Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion: The Conditional Effect of Political Parties," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 63(1), pages 101-122, 03.
  7. Lauren McLaren & Mark Johnson, 2007. "Resources, Group Conflict and Symbols: Explaining Anti-Immigration Hostility in Britain," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 55, pages 709-732, December.
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