Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism: Theory and Evidence

29 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2010

See all articles by Markus Bruckner

Markus Bruckner

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

H. P. Gruner

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: March 2010

Abstract

In many western democracies, political parties with extreme platforms challenge more moderate incumbents. This paper analyses the impact of economic growth on the support for extreme political platforms. We provide a theoretical argument in favor of growth effects (as opposed to level effects) on the support for extremist parties and we empirically investigate the relationship between growth and extremist votes. A lower growth rate increases the support for extreme political platforms but our estimates also indicate that extreme platforms are unlikely to gain majorities in OECD countries, unless there is an extreme drop in the GDP per capita growth rate.

Keywords: Economic Growth, Political Regimes

JEL Classification: O40, O52

Suggested Citation

Bruckner, Markus and Grüner, Hans Peter, Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism: Theory and Evidence (March 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7723, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1573427

Markus Bruckner (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Hans Peter Grüner

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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