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Was Brexit Caused by the Unhappy and the Old?

Listed author(s):
  • Liberini, Federica

    (ETH, Zurich)

  • Oswald, Andrew J

    (University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

  • Redoano, Michela

    (University of Warwick)

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (so-called ‘Brexit’).This paper uses newly released information, from the Understanding Society data set, to examine the characteristics of individuals who were for and against Brexit. Two new findings emerge. First, unhappy feelings contributed to Brexit. However, contrary to commonly heard views, the key channel of influence was not through general dissatisfaction with life. It was through a person’s narrow feelings about his or her own financial situation. Second, despite some commentators’ guesses, Brexit was not caused by old people. Only the very young were substantially pro-Remain.

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File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/342-2017_oswald_proto_redoano.pdf
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Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 342.

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Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:342
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/

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  1. Sascha O Becker & Thiemo Fetzer & Dennis Novy, 2017. "Who voted for Brexit? A comprehensive district-level analysis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 601-650.
  2. Liberini, Federica & Redoano, Michela & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Happy voters," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 41-57.
  3. repec:eee:ejores:v:263:y:2017:i:3:p:1019-1032 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hobolt, Sara B. & de Vries, Catherine E., 2016. "Turning against the union? The impact of the crisis on the Eurosceptic vote in the 2014 European Parliament elections," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66831, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Ginsburgh, Victor & Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Weber, Shlomo, 2017. "Ranking languages in the European Union: Before and after Brexit," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 139-151.
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