“COVID-19 Health Certification Reduces Outgroup Bias: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in Japan” in the lecture series of ‘Japan and International Migration: Recent Developments, Emerging Dynamics’ by The Japan-Center at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich

Lecture series

Japan and International Migration: Recent Developments, Emerging Dynamics

This lecture series offers insights into current scholarly works on the topic of “Japan and International Migration”. Originally kicked off in spring 2021, this series will be continued in the fall with a focus on international labor and student mobility to Japan. Talks will address the contradictory attitudes towards these newcomers as presented in Japanese politics, business, and society. The fall series will pay special attention to the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic had and continues to have on migrants’ lives in Japan and will discuss what the de facto travel-ban means for Japan’s position in the global web of migration flows.

Following the two lectures provided on October 25 and November 8, the 3rd lecture titled,

COVID-19 Health Certification Reduces Outgroup Bias: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in Japan by Assoc. Prof. Yoshiaki Kubo, PhD und Assoc. Prof. Isamu Okada, PhD

will come on,

Monday, 22. November 2021, 11.00 – 12.00

Here are details:

Psychological theorem supposes that serious threats cause negative attitudes by ingroups to outgroups, i.e., outgroup bias. For example, the behavioral immune system theory claims a chain reaction from infectious threats to outgroup bias as the human defense against pathogens. However, what reduces outgroup bias from threats to health caused by a pandemic is unknown. This study deals with this missing argument by focusing on threats to health by COVID-19, which have caused negative attitudes toward racial/ethnic groups, immigrants, or tourists worldwide. In particular, this study provides evidence that health certifications to prove immunity or negativity for COVID-19 contribute to reducing the outgroup bias. Using a discrete choice experiment with a randomized conjoint design in Japan, we investigated public attitudes toward inbound travelers entering the country, including foreigners, immigrants, or tourists. We found that those inbound travelers carrying a health certificate have a higher probability of being admitted entry by host residents: a vaccination certificate by 31 percent and a negative certificate by 27 percent. These effects are the same size as those travelers undergoing self-isolation. Our results demonstrate that health certifications can mitigate outgroup bias among ingroups facing threats to health by COVID-19. We anticipate our study to support the introduction of a vaccine passport, which is often denied in terms of inequality between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. At the same time, especially for unvaccinated travelers, this study suggests that a negative certificate can be an alternative to a vaccine passport.

Yoshiaki Kubo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Law, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Japan, and; Joint Researcher at Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan. He is also a former Academic Associate at Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, USA, and; former Visiting Scholar at Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University Bloomington, USA. He received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and; B.A. in Law from Chuo University, Japan.

Isamu Okada is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University. He received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

The lecture will be conducted via Zoom. You are kindly requested to register with Zoom in advance:

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