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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. Corneo, Giacomo, 2005. "Work and television," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 99-113, March.
  2. Vendrik, Maarten C.M. & Schwieren, Christiane, 2009. "Identification, Screening and Stereotyping in Labour Market Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 4571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 54-63, March.
  5. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2009. "A theory of tolerance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 691-702, June.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
  7. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 75-97, October.
  9. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 5234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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