Countering public opposition to immigration: The impact of information campaigns

Giovanni Facchini*, Yotam Margalit, Hiroyuki Nakata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is opposition to immigration deeply entrenched or is it open to updating in the face of new information? We explore this question by examining how attitudes of native citizens shift following exposure to information that points to potential upsides of immigration. We do so using a large-scale randomized experiment embedded in a text-comprehension study administered in Japan. As part of the study, participants were subtly presented with information on social and economic problems that immigration could help address (e.g., growing elderly population that requires care, labor shortage in certain sectors). Depending on the treatment, information exposure increased support for a more open immigration policy and motivated pro-immigration political action. Notably, effects persisted 10–12 days after the intervention. The results suggest that information campaigns can lessen public opposition to immigration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103959
JournalEuropean Economic Review
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Experiment
  • Immigration
  • Information campaigns
  • Japan
  • Public opinion


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