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The Brexit referendum and the rise in hate crime; conforming to the new norm

Facundo Albornoz (), Jake Bradley () and Silvia Sonderegger ()
Additional contact information
Jake Bradley: University of Nottingham
Silvia Sonderegger: University of Nottingham

No 2020-12, Discussion Papers from The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham

Abstract: We document a sharp increase in hate crime in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. We show that this rise was more pronounced in more pro-remain areas. These facts are consistent with a model in which individual behavior is dictated by a desire to conform to imperfectly observable social norms in addition to following individual preferences. Arguably, the referendum was a source of new information about society’s overall preferences over immigration in a context where other determinants of attitudes remained constant. We exploit this feature of the referendum for identiï¬ cation. We build a quantitative model to examine whether the observed trends can be replicated with a sensible parameterization of the model. Our estimation of the conformity parameter allows us to quantify the role of shared narratives, national identity and stereotypes in shaping aggregate behavior.

Keywords: Hate crime; Brexit; attitudes towards immigrants; social norms; value of information (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int, nep-soc and nep-ure
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