Wind of Change? Experimental Survey Evidence on the COVID-19 Shock and Socio-Political Attitudes in Europe

83 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2020

See all articles by Gianmarco Daniele

Gianmarco Daniele

Bocconi University; Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre; Bocconi University

Andrea FM Martinangeli

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Francesco Passarelli

Harvard University

Willem Sas

University of Stirling - Department of Economics; KU Leuven - Department of Economics

Lisa Windsteiger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Date Written: August 11, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the COVID-19 crisis has affected the way we vote and think about politics, as well as our broader attitudes and underlying value systems. We fielded large online survey experiments in Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, well into the first wave of the epidemic (May-June), and included outcome questions on trust, voting intentions, policies & taxation, and identity & values. With a randomised survey flow we vary whether respondents are given COVID-19 priming questions first, before answering the outcome questions. With this treatment design we can also disentangle the health and economic effects of the crisis, as well as a potential “rally around the flag” component. We find that the crisis has brought about severe drops in interpersonal and institutional trust, as well as lower support for the EU and social welfare spending financed by taxes. This is largely due to economic anxiety rather than health concerns. A rallying effect around (scientific) expertise combined with populist policies losing ground forms the other side of this coin, and hints at a rising demand for competent leadership.

Keywords: D72, H51, H53, H55, O52, P52

JEL Classification: COVID-19, Social Trust, Institutional Trust, Survey Experiment, European Union, Welfare, Health, Tax

Suggested Citation

Daniele, Gianmarco and Martinangeli, Andrea and Passarelli, Francesco and Sas, Willem and Windsteiger, Lisa, Wind of Change? Experimental Survey Evidence on the COVID-19 Shock and Socio-Political Attitudes in Europe (August 11, 2020). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2020-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671674 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3671674

Gianmarco Daniele

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan
Italy

Bocconi University ( email )

Andrea Martinangeli (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

Francesco Passarelli

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Willem Sas

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Lisa Windsteiger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

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