Exposure to Ethnic Minorities Changes Attitudes to Them
CentER Discussion Paper Series Nr. 2020-021
58 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 26, 2020
Does exposure to ethnic minorities change the majority’s attitudes towards them? We investigate this question using novel panel data on attitudes from a general-population sample in the Netherlands matched to geographical data on refugees. We find that people who live in neighborhoods of refugees for a sufficiently long time acquire a more positive attitude. Instead, people living in municipalities hosting refugees, but not in their close neighborhood, develop a more negative attitude. The positive neighborhood effect is particularly strong for groups that are likely to have personal contact with refugees suggesting that contact with minorities can effectively reduce prejudice.
Keywords: prejudice, ethnic diversity, attitudes to immigrants, discrimination, intergroup contact, refugee crisis, individual-level fixed-effects regressions, lab-in-the-field experiment
JEL Classification: J15, R23, D91, C23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation