nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2023‒11‒27
five papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu, University of Calgary

  1. Economic Insecurity and the Demand of Populism in Europe By Massimo Morelli; Luigi Guiso; Helios Herrera; Tommaso Sonno
  2. The economics of women’s rights By Tertilt, Michèle; Doepke, Matthias; Hannusch, Anne; Montenbruck, Laura
  3. Opportunistic Political Central Bank Coverage: Does media coverage of ECB's Monetary Policy Impacts German Political Parties' Popularity? By Hugo Oriola; Matthieu Picault
  4. Educate Some to Represent Many? Education and Female Political Representation in Europe By Bellani, Luna; Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Marisa
  5. Did COVID-19 Boost Populism? Evidence from Early Superspreader Events By Lall, Ranjit; Davidson, Thomas; Hagemeister, Felix

  1. By: Massimo Morelli; Luigi Guiso; Helios Herrera; Tommaso Sonno
    Abstract: We document the spiral of populism in Europe and the direct and indirect role of economic insecurity shocks. Using survey data on individual voting, we make two contributions to the literature, namely: (1) Economic insecurity shocks have a significant impact on the populist vote share, directly as demand for protection, and indirectly through the induced changes in trust and attitudes; (2) A key consequence of increased economic insecurity is a drop in turnout. The impact of this largely neglected turnout effect is substantial: conditional on voting, when economic insecurity increases almost 40% of the induced change in the vote for a populist party comes from the turnout channel. Keywords:turnout, trust in politics, voter sentiments JEL: D72, F68
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Tertilt, Michèle; Doepke, Matthias; Hannusch, Anne; Montenbruck, Laura
    Abstract: Two centuries ago, in most countries around the world, women were unable to vote, had no say over their own children or property, and could not obtain a divorce. Women have gradually gained rights in many areas of life, and this legal expansion has been closely intertwined with economic development. We aim to understand the drivers behind these reforms. To this end, we distinguish between four types of dwomen’s rights—economic, political, labor, and body—and document their evolution over the past 50 years across countries. We summarize the political-economy mechanisms that link economic development to changes in women’s rights and show empirically that these mechanisms account for a large share of the variation in women’s rights across countries and over time.
    Keywords: women's rights; female suffrage; family economics; bargaining; political economy
    JEL: D13 D72 E24 J12 J16 N30 N40 O10
    Date: 2022–12–21
  3. By: Hugo Oriola; Matthieu Picault
    Abstract: We define the concept of Opportunistic Political Central Bank Coverage (OPCBC) which corresponds to an opportunistic modification of parties’ popularity induced by media coverage of monetary policy. More precisely, we suppose that the treatment of monetary policy in the press has a significant impact on the popularity of national political parties prior to an election. To investigate on the existence of this concept, we collect monthly popularity ratings for 6 German political forces on the period between January 2005 and December 2021. Then, we measure media coverage through a textual analysis on more than 26.000 press articles from 6 different German newspapers. Finally, we estimate popularity functions for these German political parties in which we introduce our textual measures interacted with a dummy taking the value 1 in the month prior to an election. Our analysis underlines the existence of OPCBCs in Germany in the month preceding federal elections and elections to the European Parliament. This result is robust to the use of a SUR model, alternative pre-electoral periods, the implementation of two different tone analysis, the use of Google Trends data and the interest of the public for members of the ECB. Finally, it seems that the existence of OPCBCs depend on the partisanship of the media studied.
    Keywords: European Central Bank; Press; Textual Analysis; Tone Analysis; Elections; Political Cycles; Germany
    JEL: E58 D72 P35
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Bellani, Luna (Ulm University); Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Marisa (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Gender disparity is present in many aspects of life, especially in politics. This paper provides new evidence on the impact of women's education on political representation focusing on several European countries. We combine multi-country data from the Gender Statistics Database of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and from the European Social Survey (ESS). We find increased female education significantly raises the percentage of women being elected to regional parliaments. We then explore possible channels at the individual level and find education increases women's interest in politics and induces more egalitarian views about gender roles in society among women, although it fails to do so among men.
    Keywords: education, female political participation, compulsory schooling reforms, ESS
    JEL: H52 I21 I23 J24 J31
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Lall, Ranjit (University of Oxford); Davidson, Thomas; Hagemeister, Felix
    Abstract: We study whether right-wing populists benefited from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploiting variation in COVID-19 incidence stemming from the idiosyncratic timing of superspreader events in early 2020, we find a spike in online engagement with populists in European regions with higher infection rates. We document a similar boost in populist support in French municipal elections as well as individual-level British and Dutch survey data. Declining institutional trust, intensifying outgroup hostility, and opposition to government restrictions, these varied sources suggest, fueled the populist surge. The findings broaden our understanding of the types of societal shocks that foster extreme politics.
    Date: 2023–10–14

This nep-pol issue is ©2023 by Eugene Beaulieu. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.