Did Austerity Cause Brexit?

106 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2019


This paper documents a significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government's austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity.

Keywords: austerity, EU, Globalization, political economy, voting

JEL Classification: D72, H2, H3, H5, P16

Suggested Citation

Fetzer, Thiemo, Did Austerity Cause Brexit? (July 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13846. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428368

Thiemo Fetzer (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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