Influence of Economic Factors on the Right-Wing Populist Vote
Dir. Olivier Godechot (Sciences Po - OSC & MaxPo)
Enrolled: January 2019
Alexis Baudour received his PhD in Mathematics from the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. He holds a Master’s degree from the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay and received a Master’s degree in Economic Sociology at LSE in 2018. Alexis will study the influence of economic factors on the right-wing populist vote in Europe. In particular, his project seeks to better understand the relationship between immigration concerns and the influence of the local economic environment (unemployment, median income, inequality) or the personal financial history of individuals. To achieve this, he compares income distribution evolutions and successive election outcomes using statistical methods such as instrumental variables or first-difference.
Project description: The recent rise of populism inspired a large number of sociological works. Depending on the point of view of the author, populism is seen as a "political strategy," as "discursive style" or as a "political ideology." The latter proposed by Cas Mudde (thin-centred ideology) is the best suited for my problematic and quantitative methods. I am using the concept of "Relative Deprivation" as a potential factor to explain such a rise in populism. Some social groups may experience a relegation feeling if they are worse off than other social groups. Relative deprivation has been used to study populist attitudes (Jetten 2015, Leach 2002). Defining the appropriate "reference group" used by people to make comparisons remains the primary challenge to apply the relative deprivation concept. To solve this problem, I will exploit presidential election results (1995−2017) in every French city and EDP census giving fine-grained information about different social groups. Measuring the evolution of differences between workers of the same industry, or between the workers of different sectors and the volatility of incomes, and then exploring correlations between these evolutions and increases in populist vote will provide valuable testing of the relative deprivation hypothesis. First difference models from econometrics enable an analysis of these longitudinal data.