Other resources

Project “Turning opposition into support to immigration”, funded by the Bank of Italy “Contributo per la ricerca sociale e ambientale”, 2021.

The research developed through this grant is summarized in the paper “Turning opposition into support to immigration: the role of narratives (with Cristina Cattaneo). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2021, 190, 785-801.”


The way we collectively discuss migration shapes citizens perceptions of migrants and their influence on our society. This paper investigates whether a narrative about the positive impact of immigrants on the hosting economy affects natives’ behaviour towards migrants. To shed light on the underlying mechanism, we present a simple theoretical framework that models the relationship between beliefs, attitude and behaviour and identifies the sequential channels through which a narrative might be useful in changing behaviour. We test its predictions through an online survey experiment, where we deliver UK natives a favourable narrative about migrants. Treated subjects revise their beliefs about migrants and exhibit significantly more positive self-reported attitudes and more pro-migrant behaviour. Moreover, they update beliefs in a way that gives support to the existence of confirmation bias.