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Name File Type Size Last Modified
  2-FinalDataPackage 05/20/2020 08:58:AM

Project Citation: 

Autor, David, Dorn, David, Hanson, Gordon, and Majlesi, Kaveh. Data and Code for: Importing Political Polarization? The Electoral Consequences of Rising Trade Exposure. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2020. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-09-23. https://doi.org/10.3886/E119547V3

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary
Has rising import competition contributed to the polarization of U.S. politics? Analyzing multiple measures of political expression and results of congressional and presidential elections spanning the period 2000 through 2016, we find strong though not definitive evidence of an ideological realignment in trade-exposed local labor markets that commences prior to the divisive 2016 U.S. presidential election. Exploiting the exogenous component of rising import competition by China, we find that trade exposed electoral districts simultaneously exhibit growing ideological polarization in some domains—meaning expanding support for both strong-left and strong-right views—and pure rightward shifts in others. Specifically, trade-impacted commuting zones or districts saw an increasing market share for the FOX News channel (a rightward shift), stronger ideological polarization in campaign contributions (a polarized shift), and a relative rise in the likelihood of electing a Republican to Congress (a rightward shift). Trade-exposed counties with an initial majority white population became more likely to elect a GOP conservative, while trade-exposed counties with an initial majority-minority population become more likely to elect a liberal Democrat, where in both sets of counties, these gains came at the expense of moderate Democrats (a polarized shift). In presidential elections, counties with greater trade exposure shifted towards the Republican candidate (a rightward shift). These results broadly support an emerging political economy literature that connects adverse economic shocks to sharp ideological realignments that cleave along racial and ethnic lines and induce discrete shifts in political preferences and economic policy.
Funding Sources:  View help for Funding Sources Russell Sage Foundation (RSF-85-12- 07); National Science Foundation (SES-1227334); Swiss National Science Foundation (BSSGI0-155804); Swiss National Science Foundation (CRSII1-154446); Accenture LLP; Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program; Center on Global Transformation at UC San Diego; IBM Global Universities Program; Schmidt Sciences; Smith Richardson Foundation

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms Trade and Labor Markets; Political Economy of Trade
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
      F14 Empirical Studies of Trade
      F60 Economic Impacts of Globalization: General
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage U.S. and China
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 1/1/2000 – 12/31/2016


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