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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. Journal of Population Economics, 32 (3). pp. 1043-1095.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73439/

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Abstract

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%. 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 ├ľkonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois and Slotwinski, Michaela
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0933-1433
e-ISSN:1432-1475
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:17 Dec 2019 10:59
Deposited On:17 Dec 2019 10:59

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