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Why does import competition favor republicans? Localized trade shocks and cultural backlash in the US

Ferrara, Federico (2022) Why does import competition favor republicans? Localized trade shocks and cultural backlash in the US. Review of International Political Economy. ISSN 0969-2290

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09692290.2021.1980898

Abstract

Evidence that local exposure to Chinese import competition favors right-wing parties has often been attributed to the success of economic nationalism. We test an alternative account. Trade shocks catalyze cultural backlash, which drives support for conservative candidates, as they compete electorally by targeting out-groups. We assess this hypothesis in the 2008–2016 US presidential elections. Using individual-level survey data, we provide evidence that Chinese import shocks drive negative attitudes towards minorities and positive feelings towards in-groups. Opinions about free trade and redistribution are not affected. Results indicate that this rightward shift is primarily driven by non-Hispanic white and male respondents. These findings point to the role played by trade-induced cultural backlash in shaping political outcomes in the US.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/rrip20
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 15:30
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 14:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111961

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