Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/207092
Authors: 
Slotwinski, Michaela
Stutzer, Alois
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
WWZ Working Paper 2018/28
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 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.
Subjects: 
attitudes
foreigners
location choice
popular initiative
regression discontinuity design
JEL: 
D83
J61
R23
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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