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Media Coverage of Immigration and the Polarization of Attitudes

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  • Schneider-Strawczynski, Sarah

    (University of Exeter)

  • Valette, Jérôme

    (CEPII, Paris)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of media coverage on immigration attitudes. It combines data on immigration coverage in French television with individual panel data from 2013 to 2017 that records respondents' preferred television channel and attitudes toward immigration. The analysis focuses on within-individual variations over time, addressing ideological self-selection into channels. We find that increased coverage of immigration polarizes attitudes, with initially moderate individuals becoming more likely to report extremely positive and negative attitudes. This polarization is mainly driven by an increase in the salience of immigration, which reactivates preexisting prejudices, rather than persuasion effects from biased news consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Schneider-Strawczynski, Sarah & Valette, Jérôme, 2023. "Media Coverage of Immigration and the Polarization of Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 16681, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp16681
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Bellodi & Frederic Docquier & Stefano Iandolo & Massimo Morelli & Riccardo Turati, 2024. "Digging Up Trenches: Populism, Selective Mobility, and the Political Polarization of Italian Municipalities," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 24216, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    2. repec:irs:cepswp:2024-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lenka Dražanová & Jérôme Gonnot, 2023. "Public Opinion and Immigration in Europe: Can Regional Migration Flows Predict Public Attitudes to Immigration?," RSCAS Working Papers 2023/18, European University Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; media; polarization; salience;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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