Globalization, Government Popularity, and the Great Skill Divide

65 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 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

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

How does international trade affect the popularity of governments and leaders? We provide the first large-scale, systematic evidence that the divide between skilled and unskilled workers worldwide is producing corresponding differences in the response of political preferences to trade shocks. Using a unique data set including 118 countries and nearly 450,000 individuals, we find that growth in high skill intensive exports (of goods and services) increases approval of the leader and incumbent government among skilled individuals. Growth in high skill intensive imports has the opposite effect. High skill intensive trade has no such effect among the unskilled. To identify exogenous variation in international trade, we exploit the time-varying effects of air and sea distances on bilateral trade flows. Our findings suggest that the political effects of international trade differ with skill intensity and that skilled individuals respond differently from their unskilled counterparts to trade shocks.

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Guriev, Sergei and Treisman, Daniel, Globalization, Government Popularity, and the Great Skill Divide (September 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25062, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3254038

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
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
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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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