The Trade Origins of Economic Nationalism: Import Competition and Voting Behavior in Western Europe
47 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 21, 2017
We investigate the impact of globalization on electoral outcomes in fifteen Western 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 Comparative Manifesto 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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation