Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/173017
Authors: 
Orlanski, Olga
Schulze, Günther G.
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper No. 6741
Abstract: 
We analyze the determinants of Islamophobia using the only nation-wide anti-Islam referendum ever, which was held in Switzerland in 2009 and led to the prohibition of minarets. We find economic, environmental, and cultural factors as well as the presence of Muslims to determine voting behavior. Approval rates for the bill rise with unemployment and decrease with education, income, and the attractiveness of the location. Approval is higher in rural areas, in municipalities with a higher share of men, and in the Italian and German speaking parts of Switzerland. It is higher in municipalities with a higher share of Muslims, which strongly supports the ’religious threat’ hypothesis. We compare the voting behavior in the minaret referendum with the referendum “for democratic naturalizations”, held in 2008, in order to disentangle determinants of Islamophobia from those of xenophobia. We show that our results are robust to the estimation with ecological inference.
Subjects: 
referendum
minaret referendum islamophobia
xenophobia
ecological fallacy
JEL: 
D72
D78
J15
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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