IfW in the News

How to Shorten the Lifespan of Trumpian Populism

27.03.2018

Excerpt from the Article

In a recent paper, economists Manuel Funke, Moritz Schularick and Christoph Trebesch studied more than 800 elections across 20 advanced countries (including the U.S.) between 1870 and 2014. They documented that far-right and right-wing populist parties saw an increase in their parliamentary vote shares of about 30 percent in the five years after a financial crisis.

The 2007-2008 global financial crisis fit the pattern. In its aftermath, far-right and populist parties more than doubled their vote share in France, the U.K., Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Japan, according to the paper.

The effect of financial crises on support for populism is powerful, but it is not persistent. The paper finds that political upheaval has mostly dissipated 10 years after a crisis -- evidence consistent with the self-correction Bush described. Applying its results to the U.S. today suggests that we will return to normal at some point in the next few years.

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