Does education affect immigration attitudes? Evidence from an education reform
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Empirical research consistently finds that people with high education have more liberal immigration attitudes. To what extent this relationship reflects a causal effect of education is, however, largely unknown. We rely on the staggered introduction of a major Norwegian education reform to get exogenous variation in respondents’ level of education. The reform lifted the bottom of the education distribution by increasing the compulsory years of education by two years. We find no significant differences in immigration attitudes between those who were educated in the old and the new education system. Our results suggest that if education has a causal effect on immigration attitudes, it is likely to operate on other education margins.