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Openness to Concerns of Host Country Population Improves Attitudes Towards Immigrants

Author

Listed:
  • Stöhr, Tobias
  • Wichardt, Philipp C.

Abstract

This paper reports results from a randomized questionnaire study among German citizens regarding their attitudes towards Syrian refugees. Being shown a picture of an alleged Syrian refugee the description of whom was varied, respondents were asked to indicate their attitude towards that person in various domains on a 6-point Likert-scale. Among other things, the data show that people who are more risk averse are also less sympathetic, empathic, trusting. However, once the refugee is described as being open towards concerns in the German population -- regarding cultural change, arising costs and increasing violence -- reported levels of liking and trust increase substantially, especially for risk averse people. Moreover, we find that having close non-German friends or relatives increases the willingness to interact with immigrants. Thus, the data emphasize two aspects: (1) the importance of being open for the concerns of the local population for them to be open minded, i.e.~sympathetic and trusting, and (2) the relevance of personal experience for the willingness to interact. Finally, we find that overall women are more empathic but less trusting and more hesitant regarding actual interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Stöhr, Tobias & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2016. "Openness to Concerns of Host Country Population Improves Attitudes Towards Immigrants," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145574, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145574
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145574/1/VfS_2016_pid_6430.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jan-Erik Lönnqvist & Markku Verkasalo & Gari Walkowitz & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2011. "Measuring Individual Risk Attitudes in the Lab: Task or Ask?: An Empirical Comparison," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 370, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Thomas K. Bauer & Sebastian Braun & Michael Kvasnicka, 2013. "The Economic Integration of Forced Migrants: Evidence for Post‐War Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123, pages 998-1024, September.
    3. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00618060 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Claire L. Adida & David D. Laitin & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2010. "Identifying barriers to Muslim integration in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00618060, HAL.
    6. Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik & Verkasalo, Markku & Walkowitz, Gari & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2015. "Measuring individual risk attitudes in the lab: Task or ask? An empirical comparison," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 254-266.
    7. Braun, Sebastian & Weber, Henning, 2016. "How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany," Kiel Working Papers 2025, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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