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The hosting of asylum seekers and citizens’ policy preferences
Project funded by own resources
Project title The hosting of asylum seekers and citizens’ policy preferences
Principal Investigator(s) Stutzer, Alois
Project Members Zimmermann, Severin
Organisation / Research unit Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Politische ÷konomie (Stutzer)
Project start 01.08.2017
Probable end 31.12.2037
Status Active

In this project, we concentrate on the presence of asylum seekers in Swiss municipalities and how this affects residents’ attitudes towards refugees and foreigners as well as policy preferences more generally, including the generosity of the welfare state. We identify the effects based on the first presence of asylum seekers in a municipality as well as based on the establishment of asylum centers. Information about attitudes and policy preferences is derived from citizens’ voting behavior in national ballot votes. In contrast to the prior literature the Swiss setting allows to identify residents’ policy preferences by a measure that is not prone to a social desirability bias, which is frequently a challenge in studies using survey responses as an approximation of policy preferences.† In an extension of the analysis, we will further explore whether the reactions of citizens depend on the cantonal asylum policies, for example, regarding the involvement of asylum seekers in the labor market, and whether we see any reaction in the housing prices of these municipalities, which might also reflect residents’ preferences, for example if these municipalities become less attractive and housing prices drop.

Keywords asylum seekers, public policy, attitudes towards foreigners
Financed by Other funds

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