A growing literature has highlighted the role of economic grievances, global transformations, cultural cleavages and long-term trends of isolation and decline in engendering political discontent. However, this literature is silent on the potential role of unanticipated local shocks in fuelling support for authoritarian parties. We fill this gap by using comprehensive data at a fine spatial scale and a comparative natural experiment approach. Our study documents that the occurrence of two destructive earthquakes in Italy resulted in sharply diverging electoral outcomes: while the 2012 Emilia quake did not alter voting behaviour, the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake paved the way for an impressive and persistent authoritarian backlash in the most affected areas. Such heterogeneous patterns originate from a stark contrast in post-disaster reconstruction processes and shifts in institutional trust. These findings suggest that valence issues generated from local shocks can turn “places that don’t recover” into authoritarian hotbeds.

Electoral earthquake: local shocks and authoritarian voting / Cerqua, A.; Ferrante, C.; Letta, M.. - In: EUROPEAN ECONOMIC REVIEW. - ISSN 0014-2921. - (2023), p. 104464. [10.1016/j.euroecorev.2023.104464]

Electoral earthquake: local shocks and authoritarian voting

A. Cerqua
;
M. Letta
2023

Abstract

A growing literature has highlighted the role of economic grievances, global transformations, cultural cleavages and long-term trends of isolation and decline in engendering political discontent. However, this literature is silent on the potential role of unanticipated local shocks in fuelling support for authoritarian parties. We fill this gap by using comprehensive data at a fine spatial scale and a comparative natural experiment approach. Our study documents that the occurrence of two destructive earthquakes in Italy resulted in sharply diverging electoral outcomes: while the 2012 Emilia quake did not alter voting behaviour, the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake paved the way for an impressive and persistent authoritarian backlash in the most affected areas. Such heterogeneous patterns originate from a stark contrast in post-disaster reconstruction processes and shifts in institutional trust. These findings suggest that valence issues generated from local shocks can turn “places that don’t recover” into authoritarian hotbeds.
2023
elections; authoritarian voting; political discontent; natural disasters; earthquakes
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Electoral earthquake: local shocks and authoritarian voting / Cerqua, A.; Ferrante, C.; Letta, M.. - In: EUROPEAN ECONOMIC REVIEW. - ISSN 0014-2921. - (2023), p. 104464. [10.1016/j.euroecorev.2023.104464]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1680138
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