Chris Roth | Department of Economics, University of Warwick (see profile here)
Thursday 13th May 2021 (Philadelphia @ 1:00 PM | Los Angeles @ 10:00 AM | London @ 6:00 PM | Delhi @ 11:30 pm)
We study how popular rationales enable public anti-minority actions. Rationales to oppose minorities genuinely persuade some people, but they also serve as “excuses” that may reduce the stigma associated with anti-minority expression. In a first experiment, people who donated to an anti-immigrant organization are seen as less intolerant if they were first exposed to a study claiming that immigrants disproportionately commit violent crimes. In additional experiments, participants are more willing to publicly donate to an anti-immigrant organization and post anti-immigrant content on social media when they can use popular rationales as an excuse. Our findings suggest that prominent public figures can lower the cost of intolerant expression by popularizing rationales, enabling public anti-minority behavior.