Discussion paper

DP18822 Populism and the Skill-Content of Globalization

We propose new measures of populism based on political parties electoral scores and platforms from the Manifesto Project Database for the period 1960-2018. We then show empirically that over the period considered, the evolution of populism is significantly affected by the extent and skill content of immigration and trade shocks. Specifically, imports of low-skill labor intensive goods generate more right-wing populism while low-skill immigration generates a shift of votes to the right, with more vote for right-wing populist parties and less votes for left-wing populist parties. Finally, imports of high-skill labor intensive goods, as well as high-skill immigration, tend to reduce the volume of populism.


Docquier, F, S Iandolo, H Rapoport, R Turati and G Vannoorenberghe (2024), ‘DP18822 Populism and the Skill-Content of Globalization‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18822. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18822