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Was Brexit Triggered by the Old and Unhappy? Or by Financial Feelings?

Author

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  • Liberini, Federica
  • Oswald, Andrew
  • Proto, Eugenio
  • redoano, michela

Abstract

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted in favour of 'Brexit'. This paper is an attempt to understand why. It examines the micro-econometric predictors of anti-EU sentiment. The paper provides the first evidence for the idea that a key channel of influence was through a person's feelings about his or her own financial situation. By contrast, the paper finds relatively little regression-equation evidence for the widely discussed idea that Brexit was favoured by the old and the unhappy. The analysis shows that UK citizens' feelings about their incomes were a substantially better predictor of pro-Brexit views than their actual incomes. This seems an important message for economists, because the subject of economics has typically avoided the study of human feelings in favour of 'objective' data.

Suggested Citation

  • Liberini, Federica & Oswald, Andrew & Proto, Eugenio & redoano, michela, 2019. "Was Brexit Triggered by the Old and Unhappy? Or by Financial Feelings?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13439, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13439
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Rita Faria’s journal round-up for 13th May 2019
      by Rita Faria in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2019-05-13 11:00:26

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