Who Voted for Brexit? A Comprehensive District-Level Analysis

65 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics; University of Warwick

Thiemo Fetzer

University of Warwick

Dennis Novy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Date Written: April 2017

Abstract

On 23 June 2016, the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. We analyze vote and turnout shares across 380 local authority areas in the United Kingdom. We find that exposure to the EU in terms of immigration and trade provides relatively little explanatory power for the referendum vote. Instead, we find that fundamental characteristics of the voting population were key drivers of the Vote Leave share, in particular their education profiles, their historical dependence on manufacturing employment as well as low income and high unemployment. At the much finer level of wards within cities, we find that areas with deprivation in terms of education, income and employment were more likely to vote Leave. Our results indicate that a higher turnout of younger voters, who were more likely to vote Remain, would not have overturned the referendum result.

Keywords: austerity, EU, globalisation, migration, political economy, Referendum, Scotland, UK, voting

JEL Classification: D72, N44, R23, Z13

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Fetzer, Thiemo and Novy, Dennis, Who Voted for Brexit? A Comprehensive District-Level Analysis (April 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11954, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2949802

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Thiemo Fetzer

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Dennis Novy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 2476150046 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/novy/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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