Euroskepticism, Income Inequality and Financial Expectations

J. Ritzen, C. Wehner, K.F. Zimmermann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Before the Great Recession, the rising income inequality within the "old" European Union has been suggested as an important driver of the increase in Euroskepticism. We revisit this finding for the 27 EU member states from 2006 to 2011, introducing individual negative financial expectations as a further driving factor. We also distinguish between Western and Eastern European countries. In the period of Eastern EU enlargement after 2005, Euroskepticism increased by one third while income inequality on average remained stable. Negative financial expectations are positively related to Euroskepticism in the West and non-significantly negatively related in the East. This suggests that Westerners interpret European integration as a threat, while Easterners view it as a chance. In addition, income inequality lost its role in "old" Europe. An increase of one Gini point decreases the probability of Euroskepticism by half a percentage point in the West, while it has no impact in the East.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-576
Number of pages38
JournalB E Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

JEL classifications

  • o15 - "Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration"
  • d63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
  • d72 - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

Keywords

  • Euroskepticism
  • income inequality
  • expectations
  • economic growth
  • unemployment
  • PUBLIC SUPPORT
  • EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
  • EU
  • EUROSCEPTICISM
  • UNION
  • INTERESTS
  • COMMUNITY
  • ATTITUDES
  • DYNAMICS
  • IDENTITY

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