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East Asia, Migration & borders, Centre for the Study of Global Japan

JPOSS #39: “Moderating Role of Country-of-Origin Stereotypes on Attitudes Towards Immigrants”

The thirty-ninth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on June 8, 2023. Yusaku Horiuchi(Dartmouth College) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q&A session.

Boyoon Lee (Vanderbilt University) presented a paper which examines the role of country-of-origin stereotypes on immigration preferences. Contrary to existing studies in North America and Western Europe which have not found countries of origin to matter in shaping these preferences, Lee utilizes the context of Japan where perceptions of nationality are more pronounced and finds evidence for the moderating effect of negative country-of-origin stereotypes. Lee adopts a choice-based conjoint experiment to examine the effect of stereotypes, measured along two dimensions of warmth and competence, on immigration preferences. Her experiment considers 11 countries of origin across five continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America), which are used in measuring both respondents’ pre-existing beliefs and immigration preferences. Lee’s analysis finds asymmetric effects along both dimensions of the measure for country-of-origin stereotypes: above-median beliefs are not associated with differences in immigration preferences while below-median beliefs are associated with weaker preferences. In other words, only negative country-of-origin stereotypes are found to have a moderating effect on immigration preferences.

Jeremy Ferwerda (Dartmouth College) and Michael Strausz(Texas Christian University) offered insightful comments on the framing of the study’s contributions and case selection, suggestions for relevant literature, and ideas for alternative analyses. During the Q&A session, participants offered additional suggestions for interpretations of the study’s findings as well as its policy implications.

The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS:  https://jposs.org/


Originally published on the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series blog. Original publication can be found here.