Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes Toward Citizenship

44 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2022

See all articles by Graziella Bertocchi

Graziella Bertocchi

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arcangelo Dimico

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gian Luca Tedeschi

University of Padua

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Abstract

We analyze the relationship between natives’ attitudes towards citizenship acquisition for foreigners and trust. Our hypothesis is that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the slave trade represents a deep factor behind contemporary attitudes toward citizenship, with more intense exposure to historical slave exports for an individual’s ethnic group being associated with contemporary distrust for strangers, and in turn opposition to citizenship laws that favor the inclusion of foreigners. We find that individuals who are more trusting do show more positive attitudes towards the acquisition of citizenship at birth for children of foreigners, that these attitudes are also negatively related to the intensity of the slave trade, and that the underlying link between trust and the slave trade is confirmed. Alternative factors— conflict, kinship tightness, and witchcraft beliefs—that, through trust, may affect attitudes toward citizenship, are not generating the same distinctive pattern of linkages emerging from the slave trade.

Keywords: Citizenship, Trust, Slave Trade, Migration, Ethnicity, Africa.

Suggested Citation

Bertocchi, Graziella and Dimico, Arcangelo and Tedeschi, Gian Luca, Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes Toward Citizenship. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4264158 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4264158

Graziella Bertocchi (Contact Author)

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arcangelo Dimico

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Gian Luca Tedeschi

University of Padua ( email )

Via 8 Febbraio
Padova, Vicenza 2-35122
Italy

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