Flashcards in Domestic Politics Deck (19)
Lakner and Milanovic (2015)
1) The poorest groups (marked with “A” in the graph) have experienced an income growth of about 70% over those twenty years. Almost all people in this group live in “least developed countries”, especially in Africa.
2) The people who have experienced the largest relative (as opposed to absolute) gains are those who were in the global “middle class” – roughly those between the 40th and the 60th global income percentile (marked with “B”). Who are these people? They mostly live in Asia – China, India, but also other emerging Asian economies.
3) The people who were relatively rich but not very rich in 1988 – roughly, those between the 70th and the 90th income percentile - have experienced the least income growth over the subsequent 20 years – just about 30%. Who are these people (marked with “C”)? They are mostly low and middle-income earners in rich countries. They have been called “the left behind”.
4) The richest people in the world (marked with “D”) have made major gains – over 50% for the top 1%.
Bergh and Nilsson (2010)
But do we know that the different income changes shown in the “elephant graph” are the result of economic globalization? Causal effects are tricky to establish and the literature shows complex patters, but we have some reasons to answer “yes” to that question.
• If we look at high-income countries first (roughly, the members of the OECD), there is some evidence that more openness to international trade increases economic inequality. To be sure, this does not necessarily mean that globalization reduces the incomes of lower-income persons in absolute terms, but it means that at least that they gain less from it than higher-income people, widening the economic gap between them.
• By contrast, in low- and lower middle-income countries trade openness does not seem to affect economic inequality, but interesting more income inequality results from higher levels of what in the first lecture we discussed under the heading of “social globalization”, as measured by the KOF Index of Globalization (it includes things such as international telephone traffic and number of Internet users).
Goodwin and Heath (2016)
Voters with no or low educational qualifications, low incomes, in routine manual jobs were significant more likely to vote for leave than voters with the opposite social and economic profiles. Being older and white British also increase the likelihood of supporting Brexit. These findings seem to support the “left behind” thesis: the referendum was won by the “losers” of globalization, i.e. those groups who were less able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by globalization and experienced a (relative) decline in their economic position (these are the “C” people in the elephant graph above). More specifically, the figures may suggest that Brexit was supported by individuals who are concerned about the competition of relatively unskilled EU immigrants in the labour market and for access to public services.
However, this primarily economic explanation needs to be qualified. Note that people who hold socially liberal views and those who hold socially conservative views differ greatly in their support for Brexit. Supporters of the death penalty and harsher prison sentences, and opponents of equal opportunities for women and LGBT are much more likely to support leave, by wide margins (around 50 percentage points)
Trump and Brexit
The main similarity is that years spent in education is a major correlate of voting choice. Being White vs Black/ethnic minority also plays a major role. With regard to differences, the U.S. presidential election showed a gender gap that was absent in the Brexit referendum. Importantly, the income gap was larger in the Brexit referendum than in the U.S. elections. Moreover, in the Brexit referendum income shows a linear relationship with voting choices (the lower the income, the higher the likelihood to vote Leave), whereas the relationship is U-shaped in the U.S. election: support for Trump was higher in middle-income groups than in both low-income and high-income groups. However, it should also be considered that Trump received more support from low-income voters compared with previous Republican presidential candidates, which lends some support to the left-behind interpretation.
Card et al. (2012)
distinguish between concerns about jobs and taxes and concerns related to social and cultural threats. They find that social and cultural threats are two to five times more important as economic concerns in explaining differences among individuals on opposition to immigration.
Hainmueller and Hopkins (2014)
offer a comprehensive review of the research on public opinion on immigration, and confirm the primacy of cultural concerns over economic self-interest.
find that pride in one’s nation is higher in countries that are economically more unequal.
“diversionary theory” (Solt 2011) maintains that greater economic inequality prompts power-holders to promote nationalist sentiments as a diversion that discourages their citizens from focusing on economic inequality and mobilizing against it.
“social identity theory” developed by Shayo (2009) posits that people do not want to see themselves as members of a low status group. When income inequality is high, poorer people are less willing to identify themselves with their class because the social status of their class is low. At the same time, it makes them feel better to identify themselves with another social group: the nation. In other words, rising economic inequality pushes people to give less importance to an identity whose status is deteriorating (class) and give more importance to another one that is not losing status (nation).
finds empirical evidence is support for a modified form of the social identity theory: rising income inequality makes poorer people more likely to demonstrate national pride more than it does richer people, but only when there are more immigrants in the poorer class. In other words, a high perceived cultural distance between themselves and foreign members of their class pushes low-income individuals to react to rising inequality by becoming more nationalistic.
UK: When we look at public opinion on themes related to globalization, we should remember that what the public thinks of issues such as immigration and trade has not necessarily changed much over the years, with intensifying globalization. For instance, we know that the average British respondents were as opposed to immigration in the 1960s as they are today (see lecture notes for week 2). What has changed over the years is the importance (“salience”) attached by many voters to issues liked to globalization (especially immigration) compared to other policy issues
shows that the recent growing electoral strength of right-wing populist parties is due more to increasing distrust towards political institutions and especially the EU than shifts in attitudes towards immigration.
Kriesi et al. (2006)
• The economic electoral cleavage historically divided the supporters and the opponents of government intervention in markets and large welfare states. Globalization increases the salience of the divide between supporters and opponents of economic protectionism (barriers to flows of capital, goods and workers).
• The cultural electoral cleavage historically divided the supporters and the opponents of policies reflecting traditionalist, religious and authoritarian values. Globalization increases the salience of the divide between supporters and opponents of cultural nationalism (value-based opposition to immigration and multiculturalist policies).
With globalization, the key dimensions of political competition persist but partially change their content and become:
• Demarcation versus integration in the economic dimension (i.e. opposition or support for economic globalization)
• Demarcation versus integration in the cultural dimension (i.e. opposition or support for social/cultural globalization)
Globalization triggers a strategic positioning of political parties with regard to integration versus demarcation in the two dimensions:
• In order to gain votes or avoid losing them, mainstream parties reposition themselves in the new cleavage, and/or
• New and peripheral parties adopt a “losers” platform and typically gain strength
Lefkofridi et al (2014).
In line with several other studies, these authors distinguish between four “packages” of political positions that voters and parties may have, depending on their opinion on economic and on cultural matters.
The two dimensions are related (but not identical) to the two dimensions used by Kriesi et al. Broadly speaking:
• Left-authoritarians support both economic and cultural demarcation;
• Right-authoritarians support economic integration and cultural demarcation;
• Left-liberals support economic demarcation and cultural integration;
• Right-liberals support both economic and cultural integration.
Milner and Judkins (2004)
in rich democracies, left-wing parties tend to less supportive of international trade in their party manifestos than right-wing parties
Dutt and Mitra (2005)
left-wing parties implement more restrictive trade policies when they form governments
Ezrow and Hellwig (2014)
Parties are more responsive to public opinion when the national economy is sufficiently sheltered from world markets. If economic globalization progresses further, parties may cease to be responsive
Gilens and Page (2014)
government policy is more responsive to the policy preferences of rich citizens that to the average citizen. This bias is probably most extreme in the United States, where a very impressive data collection exercise involving 1,779 policy issues has provided strong empirical support for the suspicion that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial influence on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no influence
Crepaz and Damron (2009)
the more universal and comprehensive the welfare state is, the more tolerant natives are of immigrants