Three Worlds of Austerity: Voter Congruence over Fiscal Trade-Offs in Germany, Spain and the UK

Socio-Economic Review (online first), doi: 10.1093/ser/mwac025

88 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021 Last revised: 21 Jun 2022

See all articles by Evelyne Huebscher

Evelyne Huebscher

CEU - School of Public Policy; University of Geneva - Department of Political Science and International Relations

Thomas Sattler

University of Geneva - Department of Political Science and International Relations

Zbigniew Truchlewski

European University Institute

Date Written: June 2, 2022

Abstract

Political opposition to fiscal adjustments has varied significantly across countries. Our analysis links this variation to differences in the congruence of voter attitudes towards fiscal trade-offs across political blocs in different countries. These differences in attitudes, in turn, coincide with the implications of the distinct macroeconomic growth strategies that these countries pursue. Based on original survey data, we show that in Germany, supporters of different parties not only share similar views on the appropriate size of fiscal adjustment, but also on how to distribute these cuts across various spending items. In Spain, there is fundamental disagreement on the amount of austerity, but voters largely agree on the composition of fiscal adjustments. In the UK, there is disagreement between voters of diverging political blocs on both accounts. Variation in public attitudes, therefore, gives rise to very diverse political dynamics surrounding fiscal adjustments in different countries.

Keywords: fiscal policy, deficit, spending cuts, voters, growth models

Suggested Citation

Huebscher, Evelyne and Sattler, Thomas and Truchlewski, Zbigniew, Three Worlds of Austerity: Voter Congruence over Fiscal Trade-Offs in Germany, Spain and the UK (June 2, 2022). Socio-Economic Review (online first), doi: 10.1093/ser/mwac025, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3747664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3747664

Evelyne Huebscher

CEU - School of Public Policy ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

University of Geneva - Department of Political Science and International Relations ( email )

40 boulevard du Pont d'Arve
Genève 4, CH-1211
Switzerland

Thomas Sattler (Contact Author)

University of Geneva - Department of Political Science and International Relations ( email )

40 boulevard du Pont d'Arve
Genève 4, Geneve CH-1211
Switzerland

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

Zbigniew Truchlewski

European University Institute ( email )

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