Working Paper No. 1282

Roots of Tolerance among Second-generation Immigrants

Published: May 28, 2019Pages: 52Keywords: Tolerance; Integration; Liberal; Culture; Institutions; ReligionJEL-codes: F02; F22; Z13; Z18

Roots of Tolerance among Second-generation Immigrants Niclas Berggren, Martin Ljunge and Therese Nilsson


Tolerance – respecting individual choice and differences among people – is a prominent feature of modern European culture. That immigrants embrace this kind of liberal value is arguably important for integration, a central policy goal. We provide a rigorous study of what factors in the ancestral countries of second-generation immigrants – including formal and informal institutions – that predict their level of tolerance towards gay people.

Using the epidemiological method allows us to rule out reverse causality. Out of the 46 factors examined, one emerges as very robust: a Muslim background. Tolerance is lower the larger the share of Muslims in the country from which the parents emigrated. An instrumental-variable analysis shows that the main mechanism is not through the individual being a Muslim but through the individual being highly religious.

Two additional attitudes among people in the ancestral country (valuing children being tolerant and respectful, and valuing children taking responsibility), as well as impartial institutions in the ancestral country, predict higher individual tolerance. Our findings thus point to an important role for both formal- and informal-institutional background factors in shaping tolerance.

Niclas Berggren

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4520
niclas.berggren@ifn.se

Martin Ljunge

Contact

Ph: +46(8) 665 4517
martin.ljunge@ifn.se

Therese Nilsson

Contact

Ph: +46 46 222 4643
Mob: +46 73 396 7919
therese.nilsson@nek.l...

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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