Structural Analysis of Xenophobia

68 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2021 Last revised: 11 Apr 2023

See all articles by Huan Deng

Huan Deng

Johns Hopkins University

Yujung Hwang

Johns Hopkins University

Date Written: April 10, 2023


We estimate a signaling game of xenophobic behaviors to understand how individual
racial animus and perceived unacceptance of racial animus determine xenophobic
behaviors in equilibrium. To identify our model, we design a survey about anti-Chinese
xenophobia in the US during the Pandemic. We validate our estimates by comparing our
model predictions with the causal estimates obtained from an information Randomized
Controlled Trial. We find raising perceived unacceptance is more effective than suppressing
racial animus at reducing most xenophobic behaviors. We quantify the effects of a
COVID infection on xenophobic behaviors in the short and long run.

Keywords: racial animus, perceived unacceptance, xenophobia, Sinophobia, COVID-19

JEL Classification: J15, Z13, Z18

Suggested Citation

Deng, Huan and Hwang, Yujung, Structural Analysis of Xenophobia (April 10, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Huan Deng

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Yujung Hwang (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

3400 N. Charles Street, Wyman Bldg.
Baltimore, MD Maryland 21218
United States

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