Scapegoating during Crises
AbstractEconomic crises are often accompanied by waves of antiminority behavior. We build on the framework developed in Bursztyn et al. (2022) to propose that crises, in addition to shifting people's attitudes toward minorities, can provide intolerant people with a plausible rationale for expressing their preexisting prejudice. The availability of such a rationale thus increases antiminority behavior by reducing the associated social sanctions. In an experiment examining how economic crises affect social inference about the motives underlying xenophobic behavior, we find that crises lead respondents to ascribe antiminority behavior to economic concerns rather than to innate xenophobia.
CitationBursztyn, Leonardo, Georgy Egorov, Ingar Haaland, Aakaash Rao, and Christopher Roth. 2022. "Scapegoating during Crises." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 112: 151-55. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20221069
- E32 Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- G01 Financial Crises
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination