Sandra Morgenstern
(How) Do Information Campaigns Influence Migration Decisions?

Journal of Experimental Political Science, In Press: (published online before print)
ISSN: 2052-2630 (print), 2052-2649 (online)

One European policy response to the so-called migration crisis is an accelerated implementation of information campaigns in potential origin countries. Whether and how these campaigns can influence decisions about irregular migration, however, remains under explored. I argue that information campaigns reduce intentions to migrate irregularly and expect the effects to be more substantial when anxiety-inducing messages are used. Based on a field experimental randomized control trial study (N = 1,500) of an actual European information campaign in Nigeria, I provide supportive evidence for this expectation: the information campaign reduced respondents’ intentions to migrate irregularly with a more decisive effect when using an anxiety-triggering campaign message.