Economics at your fingertips  

Do unhappy citizens vote for populism?

Adam Nowakowski

European Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 68, issue C

Abstract: This paper explores the dynamics behind the surge in populist voting across Europe. It employs individual-level cross-sectional data from 8 waves of the European Social Survey (2002–2016). I attempt to shed light on one particular perspective of viewing populist voting – the role of psychological discontent. I examine robustness to (i) different ways of defining populism, (ii) a selection of alternative specifications and (iii) estimation methods. The results suggest that generalized unhappiness with one's personal well-being – and not merely dissatisfaction with governments – could play a significant role in the rise of European populism. As such, low levels of subjective well-being are proposed as a valid predictor of shifts towards extreme movements.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Populism; Feelings; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Health; Voting; Extremism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
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:

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101985

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 2021-07-31
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:68:y:2021:i:c:s0176268020301336