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Economic Well-being and Anti-Semitic, Xenophobic, and Racist Attitudes in Germany

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  • Naci H. Mocan
  • Christian Raschke

Abstract

The fear and hatred of others who are different has economic consequences because such feelings are likely to translate into discrimination in labor, credit, housing, and other markets. The implications range from earnings inequality to intergenerational mobility. Using German data from various years between 1996 and 2010, we analyze the determinants of racist and xenophobic feelings towards foreigners in general, and against specific groups such as Italians and Turks. We also analyze racist and anti-Semitic feelings towards German citizens who differ in ethnicity (Aussiedler from Eastern Europe) or in religion (German Jews). Individuals' perceived (or actual) economic well-being is negatively related to the strength of these feelings. Education, and having contact with foreigners mitigate racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic feelings. People who live in states which had provided above-median support of the Nazi party in the 1928 elections have stronger anti-Semitic feelings today. The results are not gender-driven. They are not an artifact of economic conditions triggering feelings about job priority for German males, and they are not fully driven by fears about foreigners taking away jobs. The results of the paper are consistent with the model of Glaeser (2005) on hate, and with that of Akerlof and Kranton (2000, 2005) on identity in the utility function.

Suggested Citation

  • Naci H. Mocan & Christian Raschke, 2014. "Economic Well-being and Anti-Semitic, Xenophobic, and Racist Attitudes in Germany," NBER Working Papers 20059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20059 Note: HE LE LS POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Economic Well-being and Anti-Semitic, Xenophobic, and Racist Attitudes in Germany
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-05-27 19:50:40

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    Cited by:

    1. Naci H. Mocan & Han Yu, 2017. "Can Superstition Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? School Outcomes of Dragon Children of China," NBER Working Papers 23709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan Piper, 2014. "Zukunftsangst! Fear of (and Hope for) the Future and Its Impact on Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 706, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Christian Dippel & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2015. "Globalization and Its (Dis-)Content: Trade Shocks and Voting Behavior," NBER Working Papers 21812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Roth, Christopher & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2015. "Does Education Increase Interethnic and Interreligious Tolerance? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," MPRA Paper 64558, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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