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Did Austerity Cause Brexit?

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  • Fetzer, Thiemo

Abstract

This paper documents a significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government's austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity.

Suggested Citation

  • Fetzer, Thiemo, 2019. "Did Austerity Cause Brexit?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13846, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13846
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    austerity; EU; Globalization; political economy; voting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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