Discussion paper

DP1942 Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions

The attitudes of ethnic majority populations towards other communities is a potentially important determinant of social exclusion and of the welfare of ethnic minorities. The suggestion that negative attitudes towards minorities may be affected by the ethnic composition of the locality in which individuals live has often been made and empirically investigated. We point to an important potential for bias in simple estimates of ethnic context effects if individual location decisions are driven in part by attitudinal factors. We also suggest an instrumental variables procedure for overcoming such bias in data with appropriate spatial information. Our results suggest that allowing for such effects is of considerable importance.


Dustmann, C and I Preston (1998), ‘DP1942 Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 1942. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp1942