Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany

52 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2017

See all articles by Lars Hornuf

Lars Hornuf

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Marc Oliver Rieger

University of Trier

Sven Hartmann

Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU)

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

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. We conjecture that individuals who received West German television were exposed more frequently to foreigners and thus have developed less xenophobia than people who were not exposed to those programs. Our results show that regions that could receive West German television were less likely to vote for right-wing parties during the national elections from 1998 to 2013. Only recently, the same regions were also more likely to vote for left-wing parties. Moreover, while counties that hosted more foreigners in 1989 were also more likely to vote for right-wing parties in most elections, we find counties that recently hosted more foreign visitors showed less xenophobia, which is in line with intergroup contact theory.

Keywords: Mass media, Television, Xenophobia, Attitudes towards foreigners, East Germany, Natural experiment

JEL Classification: D72, L82, P30

Suggested Citation

Hornuf, Lars and Rieger, Marc Oliver and Hartmann, Sven, Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany (July 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6632. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2932276 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2932276

Lars Hornuf (Contact Author)

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics ( email )

Bremen, D-28359
Germany
+49 89 20348619 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hornuf.com

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Marc Oliver Rieger

University of Trier ( email )

15, Universitaetsring
Trier, 54286
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.banking-finance.uni-trier.de

Sven Hartmann

Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) ( email )

Behringstr. 21
Campus II, Building H, 7. Floor
Trier, DE 54296
Germany

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