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The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism

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  • Leonardo Bursztyn
  • Thomas Chaney
  • Tarek Alexander Hassan
  • Aakaash Rao

Abstract

We study how decades-long exposure to individuals of a given foreign descent shapes natives' attitudes and behavior toward that group, exploiting plausibly exogenous shocks to the ancestral composition of US counties. We combine several existing large-scale surveys, cross-county data on implicit prejudice, a newly-collected national survey, and individualized donations data from large charitable organizations. We first show that greater long-term exposure to Arab-Muslims: i) decreases both explicit and implicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims, ii) reduces support for policies and political candidates hostile toward Arab-Muslims, iii) increases charitable donations to Arab countries, iv) leads to more personal contact with Arab-Muslim individuals, and v) increases knowledge of Arab-Muslims and Islam in general. We then generalize our analysis, showing that exposure to any given foreign ancestry leads to more altruistic behavior toward that group.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Bursztyn & Thomas Chaney & Tarek Alexander Hassan & Aakaash Rao, 2021. "The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism," NBER Working Papers 28448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leonardo Bursztyn & Ingar Haaland & Aakaash Rao & Christopher Roth, 2020. "Disguising Prejudice: Popular Rationales as Excuses for Intolerant Expression," Working Papers 2020-73, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
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    6. Andreas Steinmayr, 2016. "Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right. (Unexpected) Results from Austria," WIFO Working Papers 514, WIFO.
    7. David Schindler & Mark Westcott, 2021. "Shocking Racial Attitudes: Black G.I.s in Europe," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 489-520.
    8. Lee Crawfurd, 2021. "Contact and Commitment to Development: Evidence from quasi‐random missionary assignments," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(1), pages 3-18, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deole, Sumit S. & Huang, Yue, 2021. "Suffering and prejudice: Do negative emotions predict immigration concerns?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 644 [rev.], Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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