COVID-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility Against Foreigners

57 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 19 Jun 2020

See all articles by Vojtech Bartos

Vojtech Bartos

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)

Michal Bauer

Charles University in Prague - Institute of Economic Studies; CERGE-EI

Jana Cahlikova

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)

Julie Chytilová

Charles University in Prague - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

Aggressive behavior against out-group members often rises during periods of economic hardship and health pandemics. Here, we test the widespread concern that the COVID-19 crisis may fuel hostility against people from other nations or ethnic minorities. Using a controlled money-burning task, we elicited hostile behavior among a nationally representative sample (n=2,186) in the Czech Republic, at a time when the entire population was under lockdown. We provide causal evidence that exogenously elevating salience of the COVID-19 crisis magnifies hostility against foreigners. This behavioral response is similar across various demographic sub-groups. The results underscore the importance of not inflaming anti-foreigner sentiments and suggest that efforts to restore international trade and cooperation will need to address both social and economic damage.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, scapegoating, hostility, inter-group conflict, discrimination, experiment

JEL Classification: C90, D01, D63, D91, J15

Suggested Citation

Bartos, Vojtech and Bauer, Michal and Cahlikova, Jana and Chytilová, Julie, COVID-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility Against Foreigners (June 2020). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2020-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3600886

Vojtech Bartos

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://www.cerge-ei.cz

Michal Bauer

Charles University in Prague - Institute of Economic Studies ( email )

Opletalova 26
Prague 1, 110 00
Czech Republic
+420 222 112 317 (Phone)
+420 222 112 304 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/index.php?module=kernel&action=user&id_user=183&lng=en_GB

CERGE-EI ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic

Jana Cahlikova (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.janacahlikova.net

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic

Julie Chytilová

Charles University in Prague - Department of Economics ( email )

Opletalova 26
Prague 1, 163 00
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/index.php?module=kernel&action=user&id_user=130&lng=cs_CZ

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