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Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism

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  • Markus Bruckner

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Hans Peter Gruner

    ()
    (University of Mannheim and CEPR)

Abstract

In many western democracies, political parties with extreme platforms challenge more moderate incumbents. This paper analyses the impact of economic growth on the support for extreme political platforms. We provide a theoretical argument in favor of growth effects (as opposed to level effects) on the support for extreme political parties and we empirically investigate the relationship between growth and extremist votes. Lower growth rates benefit right-wing and nationalist parties, but do not have a robust positive effect on the support for communist parties. Our estimates indicate that extreme political platforms are unlikely to gain majorities in OECD countries, unless there is an extreme drop in the GDP per capita growth rate.

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File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2011-05.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Adelaide, School of Economics in its series School of Economics Working Papers with number 2011-05.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2011-05

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Keywords: political regimes; political extremism; economic growth;

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