Kai Gehring (University of Zurich): External threats and group identity - The effect of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine on European Union identity

Can external threats strengthen group identities? A growing economics literature emphasizes the importance of cultural attributes such as identity for trust and cooperation. However, where these attributes come from is not well-understood. This paper examines reactions to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, looking at European Union member states. Comparing low- versus high-threat states in a difference-indifferences design, I find a sizable and persistent positive effect on EU identity. It is associated with higher trust in EU institutions and support for common policies. Lower-level identities remain unaffected and distance to Russia and Russian minority size are driving high-threat status.

Online Research seminars organized by the Bank of Finland's Research Unit are open to all researchers interested in the subjects covered. Those wishing to attend a seminar are kindly asked to register in advance, by filling in the Online Registration Form

 The registration for each seminar is open until 9:00 am the day of the seminar. You will receive a link to join the seminar by email at the latest one hour before the seminar is scheduled to begin