Are Danes' Immigration Policy Preferences Based on Accurate Stereotypes?

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Description: Stereotypes about 32 country-of-origin groups were measured using an approximately representative survey of the Danish population (n = 476 after quality control). Participants were asked to estimate each group’s net fiscal contribution in Denmark. These estimates were then compared to the actual net fiscal contributions for the 32 groups, taken from a recent study by the Danish Ministry of Finance. Syria was an outlier, and was excluded from our analyses (although doing so made little difference to the results). Stereotypes were found to be highly accurate, both at the aggregate level (r = .85) and at the individual level (median r = .65). Interestingly, participants over- rather than under-estimated the net fiscal contributions of groups from countries with a higher percentage of Muslims. Indeed, this was true at both the aggregate and individual levels (r = -.30 and median r = -.55, respectively). Participants were also asked to say how many immigrants from each group should be admitted to Denmark. There was an extremely strong correlation between participants’ aggregate immigration policy preferences and their estimates of the 32 groups’ fiscal contributions (r = .98), suggesting that their preferences partly reflect accurate stereotypes.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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