Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship. A new GLO Discussion Paper by GLO Fellows Graziella Bertocchi and Arcangelo Dimico & Gian Luca Tedeschi.

A new GLO Discussion Paper confirms a link between the slave trade in the past and trust today in sub-Saharan Africa.

GLO Discussion Paper No. 1031, 2022

1031 Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship  Download PDF
by Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo & Tedeschi, Gian Luca

GLO Fellows Graziella Bertocchi and Arcangelo Dimico

Author Abstract: We analyze the relationship between natives’ attitudes towards citizenship acquisition for foreigners and trust. Our hypothesis is that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the slave trade represents the deep factor behind contemporary attitudes toward citizenship, with more intense exposure to historical slave exports for an individual’s ethnic group being associated with contemporary distrust for strangers, and in turn opposition to citizenship laws that favor the inclusion of foreigners. We find that individuals who are more trusting do show more positive attitudes towards the acquisition of citizenship at birth for children of foreigners, that these attitudes are also negatively related to the intensity of the slave trade, and that the underlying link between trust and the slave trade is confirmed. Alternative factors|con ict, kinship, and witchcraft beliefs-that, through trust, may affect attitudes toward citizenship, are not generating the same distinctive pattern of linkages emerging from the slave trade.

Featured image: Joshua Hoehne-on-Unsplash

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.