The Economic Determinants of the 'Cultural Backlash': Globalization and Attitudes in Western Europe

39 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2018

See all articles by Italo Colantone

Italo Colantone

Bocconi University

Piero Stanig

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Colantone, Italo and Stanig, Piero, The Economic Determinants of the 'Cultural Backlash': Globalization and Attitudes in Western Europe (October 2018). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 2018-91. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3267139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3267139

Italo Colantone (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Piero Stanig

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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