The way we collectively discuss migration shapes citizens perceptions of migrants and their influence on our society. This paper investigates whether a narrative about the positive impact of immigrants on the hosting economy affects natives’ behaviour towards migrants. To shed light on the underlying mechanism, we present a simple theoretical framework that models the relationship between beliefs, attitude and behaviour and identifies the sequential channels through which a narrative might be useful in changing behaviour. We test its predictions through an online survey experiment, where we deliver UK natives a favourable narrative about migrants. Treated subjects revise their beliefs about migrants and exhibit significantly more positive self-reported attitudes and more pro-migrant behaviour. Moreover, they update beliefs in a way that gives support to the existence of confirmation bias.

Turning opposition into support to immigration: The role of narratives / C. Cattaneo, D. Grieco. - In: JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION. - ISSN 0167-2681. - 190(2021 Sep), pp. 785-801. [10.1016/j.jebo.2021.08.015]

Turning opposition into support to immigration: The role of narratives

D. Grieco
Ultimo
2021-09

Abstract

The way we collectively discuss migration shapes citizens perceptions of migrants and their influence on our society. This paper investigates whether a narrative about the positive impact of immigrants on the hosting economy affects natives’ behaviour towards migrants. To shed light on the underlying mechanism, we present a simple theoretical framework that models the relationship between beliefs, attitude and behaviour and identifies the sequential channels through which a narrative might be useful in changing behaviour. We test its predictions through an online survey experiment, where we deliver UK natives a favourable narrative about migrants. Treated subjects revise their beliefs about migrants and exhibit significantly more positive self-reported attitudes and more pro-migrant behaviour. Moreover, they update beliefs in a way that gives support to the existence of confirmation bias.
Attitudes; Beliefs; Immigration; Narrative; Survey experiment
Settore SECS-P/01 - Economia Politica
Settore SECS-P/02 - Politica Economica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/866522
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