EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Economic, social and political fragmentation: Linking knowledge-biased growth, identity, populism and protectionism

Dennis J. Snower and Steven Bosworth ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 67, issue C

Abstract: This paper examines how economic fragmentation (widening inequality of skills, income and education) gives rise to social fragmentation (via incompatible social identities), generating political fragmentation (via incompatible economic policies). We consider three value-driven identities: individualism, focused on status concerns, communitarianism, focused on social affiliations, and multi-affiliatedness, encompassing both objectives. Under endogenous identity formation high-skill people are drawn to individualism, the lower-skilled to communitarianism, and those of intermediate skill to multi-affiliatedness. Skill- and education-biased growth leads to increasing social polarisation, expanding the individualistic and communitarian groups at the expense of multi-affiliates. This expands the political constituency for closed policies (such as protectionism, immigration controls and nationalism), even when these policies reduce everyone's living standards. Our analysis thereby helps explain the economic and social underpinnings of populism.

Keywords: Inequality; Communitarianism; Social fragmentation; Globalisation; Individualism; Identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268020301130
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:poleco:v:67:y:2021:i:c:s0176268020301130

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101965

Access Statistics for this article

European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

More articles in European Journal of Political Economy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

 
Page updated 2022-09-13
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:67:y:2021:i:c:s0176268020301130