Globalization and Political Realignment in Western Europe
by PIERO STANIG / BOCCONI UNIVERSITY
official PERG opening lecture of the Fall semester 2017
ABSTRACT / The lecture investigates the impact of globalization on voting behaviour in Western Europe. We focus on the shock of surging imports from China over the past three decades, as a structural driver for divergence in economic performance across regions. We study party choice across Europe and the Brexit referendum in the UK as a case study of a highly consequential vote. We employ both official results at the district level and individual-level voting-data. Across Western Europe, a stronger import shock leads to an increase in support for nationalist and isolationist parties. The import shock also leads to stronger support for the Leave option in the Brexit referendum. Instrumental variable estimation supports a causal interpretation of our findings. We claim that the effect is driven by displacement determined by globalization in the absence of effective compensation of its losers, which tend to be geographically concentrated.
BIO / Piero Stanig is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Universitá Bocconi in Milan, Italy. His research agenda spans comparative politics, comparative political economy, and statistical methodology. His work appears in the Journal of Public Economics, Electoral Studies, and the American Journal of Political Science. Piero received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. Before coming to Bocconi, he taught methodology, political science, and political economy at the LSE for three years and at the Hertie School of Governance for another three. He was pre-doctoral fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at NYU. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
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