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The Ideological Basis of the Grexit Debate

69 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2016  

Kirk Bansak

Stanford University, Department of Political Science, Students

Michael M. Bechtel

Washington University in St. Louis

Jens Hainmueller

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Yotam M. Margalit

Columbia University

Date Written: January 1, 2016

Abstract

What explains the sharp divide among European publics over the Grexit? We explore this question using original surveys from four of the largest European economies. We contend that differences in citizens' own economic interests, as well as the often-mentioned chasm between supporters of mainstream and extremist parties, provide little insight into the public divide over the Grexit. Instead, we show that the key factor is the split between the left and right. We then develop and test a set of theoretical explanations for this cleavage. We find that the left-right divide over the Grexit is not driven by differences in attitudes on redistribution, levels of empathy, or general EU support. Instead, we find that the primary mechanism is that left and right voters have different expectations about the impact of a Grexit on the European economy as a whole. These expectations largely reflect differences in core beliefs about the promise of a free-market approach.

Keywords: Grexit, bailouts, financial crisis, European Union, redistribution, public opinion

JEL Classification: F33

Suggested Citation

Bansak, Kirk and Bechtel, Michael M. and Hainmueller, Jens and Margalit, Yotam M., The Ideological Basis of the Grexit Debate (January 1, 2016). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 16-9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2715746

Kirk Bansak

Stanford University, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Michael Bechtel

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

Campus Box 1063
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Jens Hainmueller (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Yotam Margalit

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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