Do people avoid morally relevant information? Evidence from the refugee crisis

Eleonora Freddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Combining click data from a Swedish newspaper and administrative data on asylum seekers in Sweden, I examine whether a larger presence of refugees in a municipality induces people to avoid news that may encourage welcoming the newcomers. Exploiting the unexpected in inflow of refugees to Sweden during 2015 and their exogenous allocation across Swedish municipalities, I find that people living in municipalities where the relative number of refugees has been larger read fewer articles about asylum seekers. I then identify articles that may raise feelings of compassion towards the refugees. The decrease in information acquisition is 36 larger for such empathic articles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-620
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • information avoidance
  • refugee crisis
  • motivated beliefs
  • click data

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