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The Trade Origins of Economic Nationalism: Import Competition and Voting Behavior in Western Europe

Florian Nagler and Giorgio Ottonello

No 1749, BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers from BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy

Abstract: We investigate the impact of globalization on electoral outcomes in fifteenWestern European countries, over 1988-2007. We employ both official election results at the district level and individual-level voting data, combined with party ideology scores from the ComparativeManifesto Project. We compute a region-specific measure of exposure to Chinese imports, based on the historical industry specialization of each region. To identify the causal impact of the import shock, we instrument imports to Europe using Chinese imports to the United States. At the district level, a stronger import shock leads to: (1) an increase in support for nationalist parties; (2) a general shift to the right in the electorate; and (3) an increase in support for radical right parties. These results are confirmed by the analysis of individual-level vote choices. In addition, we find evidence that voters respond to the shock in a sociotropic way.

Keywords: Globalization; Nationalism; Radical Right; Economic Vote (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-int and nep-pol
Date: 2017
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