Exposure to Ethnic Minorities Changes Attitudes to Them

Sabina Albrecht, Riccardo Ghidoni, Elena Cettolin, Sigrid Suetens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

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Does exposure to ethnic minorities change the majority’s attitudes towards them? We investigate this question using novel panel data on attitudes from a general-population sample in the Netherlands matched to geographical data on refugees. We find that people who live in neighborhoods of refugees for a sufficiently long time acquire a more positive attitude. Instead, people living in municipalities hosting refugees, but not in their close neighborhood, develop a more negative attitude. The positive neighborhood effect is particularly strong for groups that are likely to have personal contact with refugees suggesting that contact with minorities can effectively reduce prejudice.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • prejudice
  • ethnic diversity
  • attitudes to immigrants
  • discrimination
  • intergroup contact
  • refugee crisis
  • individual-level fixed-effects regressions
  • lab-in-the-field experiment


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