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New Research on Europe Seminar

CANCELLED - Does Contact with Migrants Reduce Worries about Immigration? A Longitudinal Analysis of Public Attitudes towards Migration in Germany


April 3, 2020
11:00am - 12:30pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall Directions
April 3, 2020
11:00am - 12:30pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall Directions

This talk examines how contact with migrants affects natives’ attitudes towards migration. Previous research has mainly tested the contact hypothesis in cross-sectional studies and the few longitudinal studies mainly relied on students and young adults. It remains unclear whether these findings also apply to the general population. Using six waves of individual level panel data from Germany (2007-2017), the speaker finds that natives’ contact with non-natives reduces worries about immigration and that this effect remains stable over the duration of contact. Attitude change, in reaction to contact, occurs to a similar degree across all age groups. Yet, the results of research also suggest that the effect of out-group contact on attitudes is heterogeneous across some social groups. We find stronger reductions in worries among right-leaning compared to left-leaning individuals.

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