Publication type: Journal Article
Assessing Liberal Democratic Values of Refugees in Germany and their Origin Countries – Evidence for Cultural Self-Selection?
Authors: Fuchs, Lukas M. Publication year: 2022
Expanding on a new body of literature on cultural self-selection, the present study investigates how refugees who arrived in Germany since 2013 relate to the general population of their countries of origin in terms of liberal democratic values. The cultural self-selection literature suggests that more liberal individuals may be more likely to flee to Germany. To trace cultural self-selection amongst refugees, a series of analyses is conducted: first, refugees of Iraqi, Russian, and Pakistani descent in Germany (IAB-BAMF-SOEP) and the general populations of their origin countries (World Values Survey) are statistically matched on socio-demographic characteristics and their democratic values are compared. After matching the samples, refugees express significantly higher support for liberal democratic values than the general population of their countries of origin. Second, a series of regression models is calculated, tracing three potential mechanisms for the observable differences: (1) acculturation effects in Germany, (2) the experience of being forcibly displaced, and (3) cultural self-selection. The results speak to the theoretical conjectures of the cultural self-selection literature. Liberal democratic values are not correlated with the time spent in Germany (acculturation), flight reasons, and past traumatic experiences (flight experience) but are positively correlated with a critical stance towards the government in the country of origin as well as with positive feelings towards Germany as the receiving society.doi: 10.1093/jrs/feac060 Open Access