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The Deterrent Effect of Voting Against Minarets: Identity Utility and Foreigners' Location Choice

Author

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  • Slotwinski, Michaela

    () (University of Basel)

  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

This paper uses the vote on the Swiss minaret initiative as a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of negative attitudes towards immigrants on foreigners' location choices and thus indirectly on their utility. Based on a regression discontinuity design with unknown discontinuity points and administrative data on the population of foreigners, we find that the probability of their moving to a municipality that unexpectedly expressed strong reservations decreases initially by about 60 percent. The effect levels off over a period of about 5 months. Consistent with a reduction in the identity utility for immigrants in general, the reaction is not confined to Muslims, whereby high-skilled foreigners seem to be most sensitive to the newly revealed reservations.

Suggested Citation

  • Slotwinski, Michaela & Stutzer, Alois, 2015. "The Deterrent Effect of Voting Against Minarets: Identity Utility and Foreigners' Location Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 9497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9497
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria D. C. Garcia-Alonso & Zaki Wahhaj, 2018. "Social Diversity and Bridging Identity," Studies in Economics 1802, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Besart Avdiu, 2018. "The Effect of Attitudes toward Migrants on Migrant Skill Composition," LIS Working papers 718, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Besart Avdiu, 2018. "The Effect of Attitudes toward Migrants on Migrant Skill Composition," CESifo Working Paper Series 6919, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attitudes; foreigners; identity utility; location choice; RDD;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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