Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Did Austerity Cause Brexit?

Author(s): Thiemo Fetzer

Publication Date: July 2019

Keyword(s): austerity, EU, Globalization, political economy and voting

Programme Area(s): Macroeconomics and Growth

Abstract: This paper documents a significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government's austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity.

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Bibliographic Reference

Fetzer, T. 2019. 'Did Austerity Cause Brexit?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.