Economics at your fingertips  

The generation gap in direct democracy: Age vs. cohort effects

Gabriel Ahlfeldt, Wolfgang Maennig and Steffen Mueller

European Journal of Political Economy, 2022, vol. 72, issue C

Abstract: We document a generation gap in direct democracy outcomes across a wide range of topics that is causally related to aging. To this end, we combine different sources of postelection survey data covering more than 300 Swiss referenda and four decades. Young voters are more likely to support initiatives that favor their own generation in the present, e.g., a lower retirement age or increased unemployment benefits, or in favor of all generations in the future, e.g., environment protection. To estimate the causal effect of aging on political attitudes, we propose a novel unconstrained panel rank regression approach that separately identifies age and cohort effects. The aging effect on political attitudes is robust for controlling for arbitrary cohort effects and appears to be driven by expected utility maximization and not by habituation-induced status-quo bias.

Keywords: Age; Cohort; Direct democracy; Status quo; Referendum (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D7 H3 H4 J1 P48 Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: The generation gap in direct democracy: age vs. cohort effects (2022) Downloads
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.2021.102120

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 2024-04-16
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:72:y:2022:i:c:s0176268021001026