The Deterrent Effect of an Anti-Minaret Vote on Foreigners' Location Choices

Slotwinski, Michaela and Stutzer, Alois. (2019) The Deterrent Effect of an Anti-Minaret Vote on Foreigners' Location Choices. WWZ Working Papers, 2018 (28). Basel.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/69122/

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In a national ballot in 2009, Swiss citizens surprisingly approved an amendment to the Swiss constitution to ban the further construction of minarets. The ballot outcome manifested reservations and anti-immigrant attitudes in regions of Switzerland which had previously been hidden. We exploit this fact as a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of negative attitudes towards immigrants on foreigners' location choices and thus indirectly on their utility. Based on a regression discontinuity design with unknown discontinuity points and administrative data on the population of foreigners, we find that the probability of their moving to a municipality which unexpectedly expressed stronger reservations decreases initially by about 40 percent. The effect is accompanied by a drop of housing prices in these municipalities and levels off over a period of about 5 months. Moreover, foreigners in high-skill occupations react relatively more strongly highlighting a tension when countries try to attract well-educated professionals from abroad.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische Ökonomie (Stutzer)
12 Special Collections > WWZ Publications > WWZ Discussion Papers and Working Papers
UniBasel Contributors:Slotwinski, Michaela and Stutzer, Alois
Item Type:Working Paper
Number of Pages:66
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Identification Number:
  • handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2018/28
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:01 Feb 2019 16:13
Deposited On:01 Feb 2019 16:11

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