The Economic Determinants of the 'Cultural Backlash': Globalization and Attitudes in Western Europe
39 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 2018
We investigate the impact of globalization on people’s attitudes in fifteen Western European countries, over 1988-2008. We employ data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and the European Values Study (EVS). We compute a time-varying region specific measure of exposure to Chinese imports, based on the historical industry specialization of each region. We attribute to each individual the import shock in the region of residence in the years prior to the survey. To identify the causal impact of the import shock, we instrument imports to Europe using Chinese imports to the United States. We find that respondents residing in regions that received stronger globalization shocks are systematically less supportive of democracy and liberal values, more in favor of unconstrained strong leaders, and particularly concerned with immigration, especially with the cultural threat posed by it. These results are robust to controlling for the initial average attitudes of each region, computed from the oldest available survey for each country.
Keywords: Globalization; Attitudes; Authoritarianism
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