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Traditions of Tolerance: The Long-Run Persistence of Regional Variation in Attitudes towards English Immigrants

  • David Fielding
Abstract

This article builds on existing studies of the long-run persistence of geographical variation in tolerance towards other ethnicities. Using English data, the study tests whether the persistent characteristic is an attitude towards a specific ethnic group, or is an underlying cultural trait of which the attitude towards a specific group is just one expression. It finds evidence for the latter, identifying geographical variation in anti-immigrant sentiment in the twenty-first century that is correlated with patterns of immigrant settlement in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, despite the fact that modern immigrant groups are quite different from those in the Middle Ages.

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Department of Economics, University of Otago (email: david.fielding@otago.ac.nz). Supplementary material for this article appears in appendices available online, along with the data used in the statistical analysis. Data replication sets are available at https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/BJPolS, and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123415000575.

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