Globalisation, Government Popularity and the Great Skills Divide

52 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2018 Last revised: 5 Jun 2018

See all articles by Cevat Giray Aksoy

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Daniel Treisman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 24, 2018

Abstract

How does international trade affect the popularity of government and leaders? Using data covering 118 countries and nearly 450,000 individuals, we show that attitudes towards globalisation depend on both individuals’ skill levels and the skill intensity of the country’s exports and imports. Our results reveal that changes in a country’s trade structure affect the approval of political leaders and governments. For example, highly skilled individuals approve of their leader and government more when high-skill-intensive exports increase, but approve of them less when corresponding imports rise. And contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence that unskilled workers oppose imports and blame their leaders for failing to protect markets – rather the reverse.

Keywords: International trade; political approval; political polarisation; skill intensity of trade

JEL Classification: D72, F14, G02, P16

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Guriev, Sergei and Treisman, Daniel, Globalisation, Government Popularity and the Great Skills Divide (May 24, 2018). EBRD Working Paper No. 215, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188894

Cevat Giray Aksoy (Contact Author)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

King’s College London ( email )

Aldwych
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

HOME PAGE: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/staff/sergei-guriev

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Daniel Treisman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
3265 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States
650-725-8556 (Phone)
650-723-1687 (Fax)

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