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Political support in hard times : do people care about national welfare?

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  • Friedrichsen, Jana
  • Zahn, Philipp

Abstract

During the Great Recession mass demonstrations indicated weakened political support in Europe. We show that growing dissatisfaction reflects poor economic conditions; unemployment is particularly important. Using individual level data for 16 Western European countries for 1976-2010, we find that national economic performance even matters beyond personal economic outcomes. Finally, while effects of growth and unemployment rates are the same across demographic subsets, the effect of inflation is heterogeneous. Younger, well-educated, or working individuals put relatively higher weight on price stability than the elderly, less skilled or not working. Our findings reinforce the political importance of employment and growth policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrichsen, Jana & Zahn, Philipp, 2012. "Political support in hard times : do people care about national welfare?," Working Papers 12-12, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32076
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    Cited by:

    1. Dominik Schraff & Frank Schimmelfennig, 2019. "Eurozone bailouts and national democracy: Detachment or resilience?," European Union Politics, , vol. 20(3), pages 361-383, September.
    2. Georgia Kaplanoglou & Vassilis T. Rapanos & Ioanna C. Bardakas, 2015. "Does Fairness Matter for the Success of Fiscal Consolidation?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 197-219, May.
    3. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2016. "Voting and Popularity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2016-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Selim Jurgen Ergun & M. Fernanda Rivas & Máximo Rossi, 2019. "Satisfaction with democracy in Latin America: Do the characteristics of the political system matter?," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE, vol. 83(9), pages 353-383, July.
    5. Gustavo Gouvêa Maciel & Luís de Sousa, 2018. "Legal Corruption and Dissatisfaction with Democracy in the European Union," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 653-674, November.
    6. Guido Merzoni & Federico Trombetta, 2016. "The cost of doing the right thing. A model of populism with rent-seeking politicians and the economic crisis," DISEIS - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo dis1602, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo (DISEIS).
    7. Agnello, Luca & Castro, Vitor & Jalles, João Tovar & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2015. "What determines the likelihood of structural reforms?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 129-145.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political support ; satisfaction with democracy ; growth ; unemployment ; collectivism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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