Discussion paper

DP17624 Does Demography Determine Democratic Attitudes?

This paper presents new evidence on how demography affects democratic attitudes in Western democracies. Using individual survey responses, the empirical analysis disentangles age from cohort patterns and other contemporaneous economic and political influences that shape democratic attitudes. The results reveal that support for democracy increases with age and is lower for more recent birth cohorts. These patterns are more pronounced in Western democracies than in the former Eastern bloc and in other countries around the world. Additional findings document that demography’s effect partly captures heterogeneity in experiences with democracy, and that socioeconomic factors impact democratic attitudes.


Sunde, U and R Kotschy (2022), ‘DP17624 Does Demography Determine Democratic Attitudes?‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17624. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17624