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Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns

Facchini, Giovanni; Margalit, Yotam; Nakata, Hiroyuki


Yotam Margalit

Hiroyuki Nakata


Is opposition to immigration deeply entrenched or is it open to updating in the face of new information? We explore this question by examining how attitudes of native citizens shift following exposure to information that points to potential upsides of immigration. We do so using a large-scale randomized experiment embedded in a text-comprehension study administered in Japan. As part of the study, participants were subtly presented with information on social and economic problems that immigration could help address (e.g., growing elderly population that requires care, labor shortage in certain sectors). Depending on the treatment, information exposure increased support for a more open immigration policy and motivated pro-immigration political action. Notably, effects persisted 10-12 days after the intervention. The results suggest that information campaigns can lessen public opposition to immigration.


Facchini, G., Margalit, Y., & Nakata, H. (2022). Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns. European Economic Review, 141, Article 103959.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 11, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2021
Publication Date 2022-01
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 14, 2023
Journal European Economic Review
Print ISSN 0014-2921
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 141
Article Number 103959
Keywords Immigration; information campaigns; experiment; public opinion; Japan JEL classification numbers: F22; J68
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