Behavioral economic research show that individuals might avoid information that could encourage them to make moral decisions at the expense of increased costs. This study investigates how media consumption changed during the refugee crisis in 2015. Generous refugee policies may entail direct forms of costs for individuals, like monetary donations or voluntary work, but also indirect costs through an increase in public expenditures, which could lead to higher taxes.
The study analyses whether inhabitants in municipalities where the number of asylum seekers per capita increased more read less news about refugees. If so, that could imply that people may avoid information that could encourage a more generous immigration policy. The relationship between the number of refugees and media consumption is studied using clicks on news articles from DN.se.
Eleonora Freddi, Assistant Professor of Economics at Tilburg University.