Wind of Change? Experimental Survey Evidence on the COVID19 Shock and Socio-Political Attitudes in Europe

84 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020

See all articles by Gianmarco Daniele

Gianmarco Daniele

University of Milan - Faculty of Law; Bocconi University

Andrea FM Martinangeli

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Francesco Passarelli

Bocconi 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: 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the COVID-19 crisis has affected the way we think about (political) institutions, as well as our broader (policy) attitudes and values. 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 ow 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 ag” 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 insecurity, but also because of health concerns. A rallying effect around (scientific) expertise combined with populist policies losing ground forms the other side of this coin, and suggests a rising demand for competent leadership.

Keywords: COVID-19, social trust, institutional trust, survey experiment, European Union, welfare, health, taxation, accountability, populism, values

JEL Classification: D720, H510, H530, H550, O520, P520

Suggested Citation

Daniele, Gianmarco and Martinangeli, Andrea and Passarelli, Francesco and Sas, Willem and Windsteiger, Lisa, Wind of Change? Experimental Survey Evidence on the COVID19 Shock and Socio-Political Attitudes in Europe (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8517, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682017

Gianmarco Daniele (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Faculty of Law ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
20122 Milano
Italy

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Andrea Martinangeli

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

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

Francesco Passarelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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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