Distrust and Political Turnover During Economic Crises

70 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018 Last revised: 4 Aug 2021

See all articles by Nathan Nunn

Nathan Nunn

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Jaya Wen

Yale University

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Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

We use a six-decade long annual country-level panel dataset to document that recessions are more likely to cause political turnover in countries with lower levels of generalized trust. The effect is only present in democracies (not autocracies), for turnovers occurring through regular procedures (not coups), and during scheduled election years. We find similar effects for vote shares in national elections across sub-national regions within Europe and across counties within the United States. Furthermore, countries with higher trust experience more rapid recoveries from recessions. The results show that trust is an important determinant of political stability during recessions.

Suggested Citation

Nunn, Nathan and Qian, Nancy and Wen, Jaya, Distrust and Political Turnover During Economic Crises (January 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097979

Nathan Nunn (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Jaya Wen

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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