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Labour Markets Workshops

Growing up in a Recession Increases Compassion? The Case of Attitudes towards Immigration

Maria Cotofan (CEP)

Tuesday 01 June 2021 12:55 - 14:00


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About this event

Recent evidence shows that people who grew up in a recession more strongly favor government redistribution and are more compassionate towards the poor. We investigate how inclusive this increase in compassion is by studying how macroeconomic conditions experienced when young affect immigration attitudes. Using US and global data, we show that experiencing bad macroeconomic circumstances strengthen anti-immigration attitudes for life. Moreover, we find that people become generally more outgroup hostile. Our results thus suggest that the underlying motive for more government redistribution is not a universal increase in compassion, but more self-interested and restricted to one's ingroup.

Participants are expected to adhere to the CEP Events Code of Conduct.


Labour Markets Workshops are part of the CEP's Labour Markets programme.