We Were the Robots: Automation and Voting Behavior in Western Europe

48 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Massimo Anelli

Massimo Anelli

Bocconi University; CESifo; IZA; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics; Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti

Italo Colantone

Bocconi University

Piero Stanig

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

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

We investigate the impact of robot adoption on electoral outcomes in 14 Western European countries, between 1993 and 2016. We employ both official election results at the district level and individual-level voting data, combined with party ideology scores from the Manifesto Project. We measure exposure to automation both at the regional level, based on the ex-ante industry specialization of each region, and at the individual level, based on individual characteristics and pre-sample employment patterns in the region of residence. We instrument robot adoption in each country using the pace of robot adoption in other countries. Higher exposure to robot adoption is found to increase support for nationalist and radicalright parties. Unveiling some potential transmission channels, higher robot exposure at the individual level leads to poorer perceived economic conditions andwell-being, lower satisfaction with the government and democracy, and a reduction in perceived political self-efficacy.

Keywords: automation, nationalism, radical right

JEL Classification: D72, J23, J24, O33

Suggested Citation

Anelli, Massimo and Colantone, Italo and Stanig, Piero, We Were the Robots: Automation and Voting Behavior in Western Europe (July 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12485. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427624

Massimo Anelli (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti ( email )

Via Roentgen 1,
Room 5.C1-11
Milan, Milano 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.frdb.org

Italo Colantone

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
21
Abstract Views
120
PlumX Metrics