Migrant Exposure and Anti-Migrant Sentiment: The Case of the Venezuelan Exodus

72 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2020 Last revised: 21 Mar 2024

See all articles by Jeremy Lebow

Jeremy Lebow

World Bank Group - Poverty and Equity Global Practice

Jonathan Moreno Medina

The University of Texas at San Antonio - Alvarez College of Business

Horacio Coral

Universidad del Rosario - Faculty of Political Science & Government; Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística - DANE

Salma Mousa

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Date Written: March 15, 2024

Abstract

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

Lebow, Jeremy and Moreno Medina, Jonathan and Coral, Horacio and Coral, Horacio and Mousa, Salma, Migrant Exposure and Anti-Migrant Sentiment: The Case of the Venezuelan Exodus (March 15, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3660641 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3660641

Jeremy Lebow (Contact Author)

World Bank Group - Poverty and Equity Global Practice ( email )

NW Washington, DC
United States

Jonathan Moreno Medina

The University of Texas at San Antonio - Alvarez College of Business

United States

Horacio Coral

Universidad del Rosario - Faculty of Political Science & Government ( email )

Calle 12C # 6-25
Bogota
Colombia

Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística - DANE ( email )

Carrera 59 No.26-70 Interior I - CAN.
Bogotá
Colombia

Salma Mousa

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab ( email )

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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