The year 2015 has witnessed an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers and other migrants to Western Europe, including Germany. Despite far-reaching civic engagement and support in this demanding time, instances of hate crimes against refugees have seen a sharp increase in Germany. This research project aims at disentangling the numerous determinants of hate crimes through careful empirical analysis of spatially disaggregated data.
For this purpose we draw on publicly available information on anti-refugee events in Germany and analyze this current data to answer e.g. the following questions: To what extent can series of hate crimes be explained by contagion? To what extent are they brought about by local conditions, including the level of support for right-wing extremist political parties? Using standard non-spatial and spatio-temporal econometric models, we show that hate crimes have a strong spill-over component across different types of violence. Adopting an epidemiologic point process model, we also determine the contagiousness of each type of violence.
We also provide the geocoded, regularly-updated dataset of anti-refugee events to the public in order to encourage further statistical analyses.