November 2012

IZA DP No. 7052: The Effects of 9/11 on Attitudes Toward Immigration and the Moderating Role of Education

published in: Kyklos, 2016, 69 (4), 604–632.

The major event of the 9/11 terror attacks is likely to have induced an increase in anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiments, not only among US residents but also beyond US borders. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and exploiting exogenous variation in interview timing throughout 2001, I find that the terror attacks in the US caused an immediate shift of around 40 percent of one within standard deviation to more negative attitudes toward immigration and resulting in a considerable decrease in concerns over xenophobic hostility among the German population. Furthermore, in exploiting within-individual variation this quasi-experiment provides evidence on the role of education in moderating the negative terrorism shock.