Migrant Exposure and Anti-Migrant Sentiment: The Case of the Venezuelan Exodus
65 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2020 Last revised: 17 Mar 2023
Date Written: January 10, 2023
The global increase in refugee flows and anti-migrant politics has made it increasingly urgent to understand how migration translates into anti-migrant sentiment. We study the mass exodus of Venezuelans across Latin America, which coincided with an unprecedented decrease in migrant sentiment in the countries which received the most Venezuelans. However, we find no evidence that this decrease occurred in the regions within-country that received the most migrants. We do this using multiple migrant sentiment outcomes including survey measures and social media posts, multiple levels of geographic variation across seven Latin American countries, and an instrumental variable strategy. We find little evidence for heterogeneity along a range of characteristics related to labor market competition, public good scarcity, or crime. If anything, local migration increases migrant sentiment among those most directly exposed to these pressures. We also find that local migration induces meaningful, repeated contact between migrants and natives. The results are consistent with anti-migrant sentiment being driven by national-level narratives divorced from local experiences with migrants.
Keywords: migration, discrimination, social capital
JEL Classification: F22, Z13, A13, J15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation