Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2012:6: Do Reported Attitudes towards Immigrants Predict Ethnic Discrimination?

Magnus Carlsson () and Stefan Eriksson ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Carlsson: School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Postal: SE-391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
Stefan Eriksson: Department of Economics, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Reported attitudes towards immigrants are sometimes used as a proxy for ethnic discrimination. However, there is little empirical evidence of a link between attitudes and discrimination. In this paper, we use survey data on people’s attitudes towards immigrants combined with data on ethnic discrimination from a field experiment in the Swedish housing market to re-examine this issue. We find clear evidence of a link between reported attitudes towards immigrants and the extent of ethnic discrimination at the municipality level. Thus, in contrast to most prior studies, our results suggest that reported attitudes may be a useful proxy for ethnic discrimination.

Keywords: Attitudes; Ethnic discrimination; Field experiments; Housing market

JEL-codes: C93; J15; R39

23 pages, February 21, 2012

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