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Kiel Institute Focus

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No. 36    January 27, 2017
by Simon Bartke, Andreas Friedl, Felix Gelhaar, and Pia Stammer

 

Making Fearful Citizens Less Fearful

Anyone expressing concern over the stream of refugees flowing into Europe, or who dares to sympathize with right-wing populist parties, is quickly labeled irrational, stupid, or xenophobic. Those who feel intellectually superior heap derision on them in social and traditional media. A new word has even been added to the German language in this context: “Angstbürger," literally “fearful citizen(s).” But this response could not be more mistaken, as the following discussion based on behavioral economics shows.

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