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Nationalism, cognitive ability, and interpersonal relations

  • Corneo, Giacomo

Interpersonal relations are shaped by the judgements associated with the social categories that individuals perceive in their social contacts. I develop a model of how those judgments form based on a theory of symbolic values. The model depicts the interaction between two values, one associated with an inherited ethnic trait (nationality) and one with an endogenous achievement trait (income). Individuals with lower cognitive ability are predicted to invest more value on nationalism and to have hostile relations with immigrants. Multiple equilibria are possible and better schooling may eliminate equilibria with xenophobia. Econometric findings based on data from three large surveys corroborate the predictions derived from the theoretical model.

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010/5.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20105
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  1. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 8054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  3. Giacomo Corneo, 2002. "Work and Television," CESifo Working Paper Series 829, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "On the Cultural Transmission of Preferences for Social Status," DELTA Working Papers 97-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," NBER Working Papers 14695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Vendrik,Maarten C.M. & Schwieren,Christiane, 2005. "Identification, screening and stereotyping in labor market discrimination," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 54-63, March.
  9. John Roemer & Karine Straeten, 2005. "Xenophobia and the Size of the Public Sector in France: A Politico-economic Analysis," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 95-144, November.
  10. Giacomo Corneo & Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "A Theory of Tolerance," CESifo Working Paper Series 1941, CESifo Group Munich.
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