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Regional Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigrants


  • Julia Peter

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

  • Silke Uebelmesser

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and CESifo)


Attitudes toward immigrants play a crucial role in voting behaviour and political decision-making. Such attitudes are shaped by individual characteristics, but the regional environment may also be important. This paper examines how individual attitudes toward immigrants are related to the economic, political, and social environment. We use individual-level data based on a large-scale representative survey and district-level administrative data. Specifically, we examine regional variation in economic growth, voting patterns, and characteristics of the immigrant population and their relation to beliefs about and attitudes toward immigrants. We also use an information experiment in which information about the actual characteristics of the immigrant population in Germany is provided and assess its impact on attitudes toward immigrants in the regional context. Our results suggest that the impact of the environment - over and above individual characteristics - is small and depends on the type of attitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Peter & Silke Uebelmesser, 2023. "Regional Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigrants," Jena Economics Research Papers 2023-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2023-020

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    attitudes; immigrants; regional determinants; economic concerns; policy preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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