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Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization

Author

Listed:
  • Levi Boxell
  • Matthew Gentzkow
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

Abstract

We measure trends in affective polarization in nine OECD countries over the past four decades. The US experienced the largest increase in polarization over this period. Three countries experienced a smaller increase in polarization. Five countries experienced a decrease in polarization. These findings are most consistent with explanations of polarization based on changes that are more distinctive to the US (e.g., changing party composition, growing racial divisions, the emergence of partisan cable news), and less consistent with explanations based on changes that are more universal (e.g., the emergence of the internet, rising economic inequality).

Suggested Citation

  • Levi Boxell & Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2020. "Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization," NBER Working Papers 26669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26669
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    Cited by:

    1. Scott R. Baker & Aniket Baksy & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Jonathan A. Rodden, 2020. "Elections, Political Polarization, and Economic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 27961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sandra García-Uribe & Hannes Mueller & Carlos Sanz, 2021. "Economic Uncertainty and Divisive Politics: Evidence from the dos Españas," Working Papers 1240, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Darya Korlyakova, 2021. "Learning about Ethnic Discrimination from Different Information Sources," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp689, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    4. Benjamin Enke & Ricardo Rodríguez-Padilla & Florian Zimmermann, 2019. "Moral Universalism and the Structure of Ideology," CESifo Working Paper Series 7924, CESifo.
    5. Van Effenterre, Clémentine, 2020. "Papa does preach: Daughters and polarization of attitudes toward abortion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 188-201.
    6. Guilmi, Corrado Di & Galanis, Giorgos, 2020. "Convergence and divergence in dynamic voting with inequality," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 61, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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