Does Exposure to the Refugee Crisis Make Natives More Hostile?

Although Europe has experienced unprecedented numbers of refugee arrivals in recent years, there exists almost no causal evidence regarding the impact of the refugee crisis on natives’ attitudes, policy preferences, and political engagement. We exploit a natural experiment in the Aegean Sea, where Greek islands close to the Turkish coast experienced a sudden and massive increase in refugee arrivals, while similar islands slightly farther away did not. Leveraging a targeted survey of 2,070 island residents and distance to Turkey as an instrument, we find that direct exposure to refugee arrivals induces sizable and lasting increases in natives’ hostility toward refugees, immigrants, and Muslim minorities; support for restrictive asylum and immigration policies; and political engagement to effect such exclusionary policies. Since refugees only passed through these islands, our findings challenge both standard economic and cultural explanations of anti-immigrant sentiment and show that mere exposure suffices in generating lasting increases in hostility.

That is the abstract of a new paper by Dominik Hangartner, Elias Dinas, Moritz Marbach, and Konstantinos Matakos, via the excellent Kevin Lewis


“Only passed through”? That’s a poor interpretation — a stream of refugee arrivals by sea is far more disruptive and presents a far worse view of refugees than places where they simply live.

Even better is "the refugee crisis."

When your Prime Ministers start a bidding war, trying to out-do each other on how many Syrians they are going to fly into the country and otherwise refuse to turn away, without regard to anything other than their own virtue-signalling level.... your situation is not best described as a "refugee crisis."

Correct. It's an idiot prime minister crisis.

That was my first thought as well. All of the downside, very ltttle up.

It's almost as if people learn different lessons from real life vs. television.

Of course. If there isn’t a study of that, maybe the excellent Kevin Lewis can sponsor one.

It seems a rather worst case scenario.

Trivia: Pangas drop illegals on our local beaches, but at such a low level we never notice the impact. Law enforcement makes a show of inspecting the abandoned boat. The people are just gone.

Well of course. The state has already been overrun by 10,000,000 illegal aliens from Mexico over the last three decades. Their progeny is now ~30% of the population of the state. They think it's a great idea Who would notice a few more dumped by drug trafficers in a panga boat? Some idiots, like you for example, would celebrate that. Maybe we got some opiods in the mix. Yay.

Typical California leftie.

No wonder this state is in such trouble.

"California" .. interesting word .. sounds Spanish? OMG so does "Los Angeles!"

So yeah, Guatamalans will fit in easier in a place with deep Hispanic roots, in our case going back 500 years.

So yeah, Guatamalans will fit in easier in a place with deep Hispanic roots, in our case going back 500 years.

The population of peninsuares, criollos, Mestizos, and mission Indians in California in 1846 was in the low five digits.

To our shame, the California legislature actually paid bounties for Indian scalps, between 1846 and 1870. I am sure many did try to make themselves scarce, for counting and for scalping.

Good to see you on the wrong side of that. It certainly confirms my priors.

Yeah, I'm sure he was heavily involved in the scalping of American Indians, great point. If your point was that you are clueless. By the way, were American Indians in 1800's California Hispanic? Not so sure about that, but I'm sure reality does not matter to you.

(It probably is overtly racist to see every Hispanic in Los Angeles as an alien.)

Good thing he doesn't, then

The link by Tyler does not work =( Here's the link to the original article:

I've not been to Kos but to other islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas. Tourism is an important source of income. I remember some photos of beaches in Kos on 2015 (2016?). If you search on Tripadvisor for refugees in Greece you'll find lots of gems like "a beautiful and friendly place but hysterical newspaper articles portrayed it as being ruined by refugees", or "Super hotel!....private beach, superfriendly people and no refugees in the village". Unfortunately, people fleeing for their lives clash with the expectations of tourists trying to forget their problems.

Enter the article where some survey respondents where classified into the box "respondents who receive their income primarily from
tourism" to assess if they react stronger to refugees because of income worries. The survey yields that the people whose income depends on tourism is not more worried compared to the rest of the population.

This may be true.BUT.....even if people does not own or work in a hotel or a restaurant, they money they earn from tourists is spent on local goods and services. Or family links, a father can be a farmer with two farmer children and 1 cook in a restaurant, he will worry. The authors simply say that prejudice against refugees is not related to economic worries without thinking that they are studying an interconnected human society, not a set of individuals.

I really tried to understand your incoherent post.

Negative feelings towards illegal immigration is correlated with thousands - locally, otherwise millions - of illiterate, unassimilateable, Muslim, military age men from sh*those countries invading your island to get to the holy land of social welfare benefits. Rhe long term prospects for Europe is frightening. Parts of Europe already look like the middle east, complete with child rape, FGM, honor killings, and the occasiinak mass nurder.All of this looks great to virtue signalling fools in the ivory towers.

This is only going to get worse as the middle east and Africa decays due to the pathological and maladaptive cultures and tribalism. It's a catastrophe.

The people of Europe need to storm the Bastille soon before it's too late.

You should be talking about other Greece.

The Greece I quote is ~10 million people, it's on a long term fiscal crisis and is totally not a social welfare paradise.

"is totally not a social welfare paradise."

Compared to Syria?

Syria is effectively off-loading its incorrigibles and malcontents on Europe. That explains most "refugee" movements at this point.

100% correct.

Europeans should choose two things,to rebuild poor nation i order to safe their security and their economic. Or to continue like this bad policies of destroying third world nation,and creating terrorist organizations.Make tradeoff among these two.

European countries didn't destroy Third World countries: Third World countries destroyed themselves. Stop blaming others and look in the mirror Muhamed.

I suppose the lesson here is that people fear what they don't know and don't fear what they do know. Arriving refugees may create fear, while immigrants living among us would not. We have a large number of Mexican immigrants living in my part of the low country, primarily working in agriculture, restaurants, and construction. In the abstract, the locals are hostile to Mexicans, but make exceptions for those who work with or among them. There's a similar phenomenon in attitudes about unions: locals blame unions for much of the economic troubles, but we don't have unions down here and most locals don't know anyone who is a member of a union. The adage that familiarity breeds contempt may be true when it comes to romance, but the opposite may be true outside close personal relationships.

There's no evidence for "fear." That's purely your invention.

Total bullsh*t!

Once the community has been overrun it's too late. In the valley a huge percentage of the population is the offspring of those illegal Invaders. Failure is now built in, as every election shows.

But I do agree that the wealthy love their cheap cooks, housecleaners, and construction workers - they just don't have any living in their neighborhood. Zoning laws protect the elite from the consequences of the policies they support.

Many others are not so lucky.

We are way more American than your racist ass.

"I suppose the lesson here is that people fear what they don't know and don't fear what they do know. Arriving refugees may create fear, while immigrants living among us would not. "

That's a nice thought, but doesn't the abstract indicate that exposure creates "lasting" hostility? That suggests it doesn't abate with time or familiarity. I think a lot of this is the conditions under which the migration is taking place. Legal immigrants are still going to be the target of some resentment (see, e.g. anti-gentrification sentiment), but it's a lot easier to reconcile yourself to legal immigrants who have essentially been invited in, whether for work purposes or because they applied for asylum at the embassy, than to a bunch of people who basically decided to invade your country illegally.

If the latter group -- ragged scofflaws with lower human capital than legal immigrants -- shapes your view of all immigrants, it's not surprising that you'll end up more hostile to immigrants as a whole.

Just keep coming up with excuses...

The authors write in generalities as if something similar might have occurred had upper-class Swedes come to their shores.
'outgroup.' Please.

Do the "standard economic and cultural explanations" really suggest that a massive disruption would pass through without lasting impact? That people would just forget? The fact that these findings are considered surprising seems crazy to me.

There also seems to be a similar sentiment regarding Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists are also "just passing through", and may even spend money, yet Chinese tourists get a bad rap in many European countries.

Can't imagine why

I need to second this notion:

The Turks briefly passed through Hungary,

and today, more that 3 centuries later, the Hungarians are still racist:

This study seems to counter the common talking point that "Immigration backlash is coming from places least touched by immigration"

The Bryan Caplan argument is if you give the immigrants or the children of the immigrants the right to vote and you import enough of them to dominate the voting process, then polls will be favorable to immigration.

We are all children of immigrants, or descended from.

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