Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany
66 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 7, 2020
Can television have a mitigating effect on xenophobia? To examine this question, we exploit the fact that individuals in some areas of East Germany - due to their geographic location - could not receive West German television until 1989. Following intergroup contact theory, we conjecture that individuals who received West German television were exposed more frequently to foreigners and thus have developed less xenophobia. We show that regions that could receive West German television were less likely to vote for extreme right parties during the nationalelections from 1994 to 2017 and exhibited less criminal offenses against refugees.
Keywords: Mass media, Television, Xenophobia, Attitudes towards foreigners, East Germany, Natural experiment
JEL Classification: D72, L82, P30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation