Did austerity cause Brexit?

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

American Economic Review

Author

Thiemo Fetzer

Publication date

Summary

This paper documents a significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government's austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity.

Volume and page numbers

109, 3849-3886

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20181164

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics, Public Opinion, Area Effects, Geography, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Economics, Poverty and International Economic Relations

Links

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  1. Did austerity cause Brexit?