Political responses to economic shocks

Yotam Margalit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


How does the experience of economic shocks affect individuals' political views and voting behavior? Inspired partly by the fallout of the financial crisis of 2008, research on this question has proliferated. Findings from studies covering a broadening range of countries and economic contexts highlight several notable patterns. Economic shocks-e.g., job loss or sharp drop in income-exert a significant and theoretically predictable, if often transient, effect on political attitudes. In contrast, the effect on voting behavior is more limited in magnitude and its manifestations less understood. Negative economic shocks tend to increase support for more expansive social policy and for redistribution, strengthening the appeal of the left. But such shocks also tend to decrease trust in political institutions, thus potentially driving the voters to support radical or populist parties, or demobilizing them altogether. Further research is needed to detect the conditions that lead to these distinct voting outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-295
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Political Science
StatePublished - 11 May 2019


  • economic shocks
  • personal experience
  • political trust
  • populism
  • public opinion


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