20230905 Decomposing the rise of the populist

Decomposing the Rise of the Populist Radical Right

Oren Danieli, an Assistant Professor at the Tel Aviv University School of Economics will present and discuss his working paper entitled “Decomposing the rise of the populist radical right”.

Working Paper by Oren Danieli, Noam Gidron, Shinnosuke Kikuchi, Ro’ee Levy

Support for populist radical right parties in Europe has dramatically increased in recent years. We decompose the rise of these parties from 2005 to 2020 into four components: shifts in party positions, changes in voter attributes (demographics and opinions), changes in voter priorities, and a residual. We merge two wide datasets on party positions and voter attributes and estimate voter priorities by using a probabilistic voting model. We find that shifts in party positions and changes in voter attributes do not play a major role in the recent success of populist radical right parties. Instead, the primary driver behind their electoral success lies in voters’ changing priorities. Particularly, voters are less likely to decide which party to support based on parties’ economic positions. Rather, voters—mainly older, nonunionized, low-educated men—increasingly prioritize nativist cultural positions. This allows populist radical right parties to tap into a preexisting reservoir of culturally conservative voters. We provide a set of reduced-form evidence supporting these results. First, while parties’ positions have changed, these changes are not consistent with the main supply-side hypothesis for populist support. Second, on aggregate, voters have not adopted populist right-wing opinions. Third, voters are more likely to self-identify ideologically based on their cultural rather than their economic opinions.

About the speaker

Oren Danieli is an Assistant Professor at Tel Aviv University School of Economics. Furthermore, he is a vising research scholar at the Industrial Relation Section at Princeton University. Prof. Danieli received his PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University. His research field are in Labor Economics, Econometrics, and Political Economy. He is also interested in income inequality, education, and populism.


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