A Window to the World: The Long-Term Effect of Television on Hate Crime

39 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2020

See all articles by Marek Endrich

Marek Endrich

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Date Written: February 7, 2020


This paper analyzes the long-term impact of television on hate crimes in Germany. In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) foreign television served as a window to the world and exposed viewers to foreign influences. But certain parts of the GDR were excluded from receiving Western television due to geographical features. I argue that this resulted in long-lasting differences in the attitude towards foreigners. Using the spatial variation in signal strength as a natural experiment, the paper tests the effect of Western broadcasts on the rate of hate crimes. Municipalities with no access to foreign broadcasts exhibit a higher degree of xenophobic violence in the period of the migration crisis in Germany between 2014 to 2017. It shows that media can lead to preference changes that persist for a long time after the exposure.

Keywords: Hate Crime, Refugees, Natural Experiment, Media

JEL Classification: J15, K42

Suggested Citation

Endrich, Marek, A Window to the World: The Long-Term Effect of Television on Hate Crime (February 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3546864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3546864

Marek Endrich (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, 1050

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