This paper analyzes individuals’ adoption of populist attitudes in nine European countries in the wake of the Great Recession. We assess the consequences of three different, interrelated aspects of economic hardship that are expected to foster the development of populist attitudes at the individual level: vulnerability, grievances, and perceptions of the national economic situation. Using comparative survey data, we find effects of all three of these individual aspects. Our analysis suggests that the main explanation for populist attitudes is neither the vulnerability nor the economic hardship suffered by the people, but rather the perceptions that citizens have about the economic situation in their country. Using panel data from Spain, we address concerns about the presence of endogeneity in the relationship between economic perceptions and populism and conclude that the effect goes mostly from economic perceptions to populist attitudes, not the other way around.
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2019|
- Economic crisis
- Economic perceptions
- Political attitudes