Economic insecurity and the rise of the right

Publication type

Research Paper

Authors

Walter Bossert, Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D’Ambrosio and Anthony Lepinteur

Publication date

Series Number

1659

Summary

Economic insecurity has attracted growing attention in social, academic and policy circles. However, there is no consensus as to its precise definition. Intuitively, economic insecurity is multi-faceted, making any comprehensive formal definition that subsumes all possible aspects extremely challenging. We propose a simplified approach, and characterize a class of individual economic-insecurity measures that are based on the time profile of economic resources. We then apply our economic-insecurity measure to data on political preferences. In US, UK and German panel data, and conditional on current economic resources, economic insecurity is associated with both greater political participation (support for a party or the intention to vote) and notably more support for parties on the right of the political spectrum. We in particular find that economic insecurity predicts greater support for both Donald Trump before the 2016 US Presidential election and the UK leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics, Public Opinion, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Economics, Income Dynamics and Social Attitudes

Links