IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_7210.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Backlash in Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties

Author

Listed:
  • Magnus Carlsson
  • Gordon B. Dahl
  • Dan-Olof Rooth

Abstract

Far-right and far-left parties by definition occupy the fringes of politics, with policy proposals outside the mainstream. This paper asks how public attitudes about such policies respond once an extreme party increases their political representation at the local level. We study attitudes towards the signature policies of two radical populist parties in Sweden, one from the right and one from the left, using panel data from 290 municipal election districts. To identify causal effects, we take advantage of large nonlinearities in the function which assigns council seats, comparing otherwise similar elections where a party either barely wins or loses an additional seat. We estimate that a one seat increase for the far-right, anti-immigration party decreases negative attitudes towards immigration by 4.1 percentage points, in opposition to the party’s policy position. Likewise, when a far-left, anti-capitalist party politician gets elected, support for a six hour workday falls by 2.7 percentage points. Mirroring these attitudinal changes, the far-right and far-left parties have no incumbency advantage in the next election. Exploring possible mechanisms, we find evidence that when the anti-immigrant party wins a marginal seat, they experience higher levels of politician turnover before the next election and receive negative coverage in local newspapers. These findings demonstrate that political representation can cause an attitudinal backlash as fringe parties and their ideas are placed under closer scrutiny.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2018. "Backlash in Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 7210, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7210
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7210.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    2. Freier, Ronny & Odendahl, Christian, 2015. "Do parties matter? Estimating the effect of political power in multi-party systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 310-328.
    3. Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Peri & Walter Steingress, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 24510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
    5. Christian Dustmann & Kristine Vasiljeva & Anna Piil Damm, 2019. "Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(5), pages 2035-2091.
    6. Andreas Steinmayr, 2016. "Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right. (Unexpected) Results from Austria," WIFO Working Papers 514, WIFO.
    7. Carlsson, Magnus & Dahl, Gordon B. & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2016. "Do Politicians Change Public Attitudes?," IZA Discussion Papers 10349, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    9. Vittorio Bassi & Imran Rasul, 2017. "Persuasion: A Case Study of Papal Influences on Fertility-Related Beliefs and Behavior," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 250-302, October.
    10. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    11. Chun-Fang Chiang & Brian Knight, 2011. "Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 795-820.
    12. Guido W. Imbens, 2015. "Matching Methods in Practice: Three Examples," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 373-419.
    13. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    14. Olle Folke, 2014. "Shades Of Brown And Green: Party Effects In Proportional Election Systems," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1361-1395, October.
    15. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 41-76.
    16. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Terviö, 2017. "Returns to Office in National and Local Politics: A Bootstrap Method and Evidence from Finland," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 413-442.
    17. Martin Halla & Alexander F. Wagner & Josef Zweimüller, 2017. "Immigration and Voting for the Far Right," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(6), pages 1341-1385.
    18. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2014. "Immigration and election outcomes — Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 67-79.
    19. Rune Stubager, 2003. "Preference-shaping: an Empirical Test," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51, pages 241-261, June.
    20. Francesco Drago & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-188, July.
    21. Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2007. "Party Influence in Congress and the Economy," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 277-286, August.
    22. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    23. Gerber, Elisabeth R. & Jackson, John E., 1993. "Endogenous Preferences and the Study of Institutions," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 639-656, September.
    24. Matsubayashi, Tetsuya, 2013. "Do Politicians Shape Public Opinion?," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 451-478, April.
    25. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    26. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    27. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Edo, Anthony & Giesing, Yvonne & Öztunc, Jonathan & Poutvaara, Panu, 2019. "Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 99-143.
    2. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Do party positions affect the public's policy preferences? Experimental evidence on support for family policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 523-543.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Carlsson, Magnus & Dahl, Gordon B. & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2016. "Do Politicians Change Public Attitudes?," IZA Discussion Papers 10349, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2015. "Backlash in Policy Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties," NBER Working Papers 21062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Egidio Farina, 2018. "The impact of political and religious leaders on socio-economic outcomes," Economics PhD Theses 0218, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    5. Sun, Junze & Schram, Arthur & Sloof, Randolph, 2021. "Elections under biased candidate endorsements — an experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 141-158.
    6. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Konstantin Sonin, 2018. "Social Media and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 150-174, January.
    7. Caroline Le Pennec & Vincent Pons, 2019. "How Do Campaigns Shape Vote Choice? Multi-Country Evidence from 62 Elections and 56 TV Debates," NBER Working Papers 26572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    9. Junze Sun & Arthur Schram & Randolph Sloof, 2019. "A Theory on Media Bias and Elections," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-048/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Brian Knight & Ana Tribin, 2019. "Opposition Media, State Censorship, and Political Accountability: Evidence from Chavez's Venezuela," NBER Working Papers 25916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bruno Carvalho & Claudia Custodio & Benny Geys & Diogo Mendes & Susana Peralta, 2020. "Information, Perceptions, and Electoral Behaviour of Young Voters: A Randomised Controlled Experiment," Working Papers ECARES 2020-14, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Miner, Luke, 2015. "The unintended consequences of internet diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 66-78.
    13. Jetter, Michael, 2017. "Terrorism and the Media: The Effect of US Television Coverage on Al-Qaeda Attacks," IZA Discussion Papers 10708, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    15. Michael Jetter, 2017. "Mediated Terrorism: US News and Al-Qaeda Attacks," CESifo Working Paper Series 6804, CESifo.
    16. Jetter, Michael, 2019. "The inadvertent consequences of al-Qaeda news coverage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 391-410.
    17. Bracco, Emanuele & De Paola, Maria & Green, Colin P. & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "The effect of far right parties on the location choice of immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 12-26.
    18. Edo, Anthony & Giesing, Yvonne & Öztunc, Jonathan & Poutvaara, Panu, 2019. "Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 99-143.
    19. Ruben Enikolopov & Alexey Makarin & Maria Petrova, 2020. "Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence From Russia," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(4), pages 1479-1514, July.
    20. Brian Knight & Ana Tribin, 2019. "The Limits of Propaganda: Evidence from Chavez’s Venezuela," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 567-605.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political backlash; far-right and far-left parties; public attitudes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7210. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.