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Understanding the Origins of Populist Political Parties and the Role of External Shocks

Author

Listed:
  • Levi, Eugenio

    (Masaryk University)

  • Sin, Isabelle

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust)

  • Stillman, Steven

    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

Abstract

We use electoral survey data to examine the impact that two large external shocks had on the development of New Zealand First (NZF), one of the oldest populist parties in the OECD. We find that structural reforms, which led to large negative impacts on particular locations, and immigration reforms, which led to large spatially concentrated increases in skilled migration, both increased voting for NZF in its first years of existence. These shocks led to changes in political attitudes and policy preferences and had persistent effects on voting for NZF even twenty years later. Overall, they play an important role in explaining the rise of populism in NZ. Understanding how these shocks led to the development of NZF is particularly relevant for thinking about how populism has been extending its reach in the 2010s.

Suggested Citation

  • Levi, Eugenio & Sin, Isabelle & Stillman, Steven, 2021. "Understanding the Origins of Populist Political Parties and the Role of External Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 14314, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14314
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Drinkwater, 2021. "Brexit and the ‘left behind’: Job polarization and the rise in support for leaving the European Union," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(6), pages 569-588, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    populism; political parties; trade; immigration; shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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