DP13103 The rise of populism and the collapse of the left-right paradigm: Lessons from the 2017 French presidential election

Author(s): Yann Algan, Elizabeth Beasley, Daniel Cohen, Martial Foucault
Publication Date: August 2018
Keyword(s): inequality, populism
JEL(s): P26
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13103

We examine the dislocation from the traditional left-right political axis in the 2017 French election, analyze support for populist movements and show that subjective variables are key to understanding it. Votes on the traditional left-right axis are correlated to ideology concerning redistribution, and predicted by socio-economic variables such as income and social status. Votes on the new diagonal opposing "open vs closed society" are predicted by individual and subjective variables. More specifically, low well-being predicts anti-system opinions (from the left or from the right) while low interpersonal trust (ITP) predicts right-wing populism.