The Korean Economic Forum
Korean Natives’ Misperceptions about Immigrants and Their Immigration Policy Preferences
Chung-Yoon Choi (Seoul National University), Seonghoon Kim (Singapore Management University) and Syngjoo Choi (Seoul National University)Year 2021Vol. 14No. 3
This paper investigates South Koreans’ misperceptions regarding immigrants and their immigration-related policy preferences by conducting a large-scale online survey of a nationally representative sample of about 4,000 Korean natives. We find that Korean native respondents have large, negative, and multidimensional misperceptions toward immigrants. For instance, the respondents overestimate the number of foreign immigrants at least twice and the crime rate three times more than the actual statistic. Respondents exhibited most negative misperceptions toward Korean Chinese among other immigrant groups. Biased perceptions on immigrants are closely associated with negative attitudes toward immigrants and preferences over immigration policy. Considering the negative correlation between misperceptions and the policy preferences regarding immigrants, public information awareness campaigns couldbe effective in