The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism

95 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2021 Last revised: 11 Oct 2021

See all articles by Leonardo Bursztyn

Leonardo Bursztyn

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Thomas Chaney

SciencesPo - Sciences Po - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Tarek A. Hassan

Boston University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Aakash Rao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 8, 2021

Abstract

We study how decades-long exposure to individuals of a given foreign descent shapes natives’ attitudes and behavior toward that group, exploiting plausibly exogenous shocks to the ancestral composition of US counties. We combine several existing large-scale surveys, cross-county data on implicit prejudice, a newly-collected national survey, and individualized donations data from large charitable organizations. We first show that greater long-term exposure to Arab-Muslims: i) decreases both explicit and implicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims, ii) reduces support for policies and political candidates hostile toward Arab-Muslims, iii) increases charitable donations to Arab countries, iv) leads to more personal contact with Arab-Muslim individuals, and v) increases knowledge of Arab-Muslims and Islam in general. We then generalize our analysis, showing that exposure to any given foreign ancestry leads to more altruistic behavior toward that group.

Keywords: contact, attitudes, immigration, prejudice, altruism

JEL Classification: D83, D91, P16, J15

Suggested Citation

Bursztyn, Leonardo and Chaney, Thomas and Hassan, Tarek Alexander and Rao, Aakash, The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism (February 8, 2021). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2021-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3781974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3781974

Leonardo Bursztyn (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 E. 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Thomas Chaney

SciencesPo - Sciences Po - Department of Economics ( email )

28, rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, Paris 75007
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Tarek Alexander Hassan

Boston University ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Aakash Rao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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