Who Voted for Trump? Populism and Social Capital

36 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020

See all articles by Paola Giuliano

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Romain T. Wacziarg

UCLA Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

We argue that low levels of social capital are conducive to the electoral success of populist movements. Using a variety of data sources for the 2016 US Presidential election at the county and individual levels, we show that social capital, measured either by the density of memberships in civic, religious and sports organizations or by generalized trust, is significantly negatively correlated with the vote share and favorability rating of Donald Trump around the time of the election.

Keywords: populism, social capital, voting behavior

JEL Classification: D72, Z1

Suggested Citation

Giuliano, Paola and Wacziarg, Romain T., Who Voted for Trump? Populism and Social Capital (August 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15140, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3674928

Paola Giuliano (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Romain T. Wacziarg

UCLA Anderson School of Management ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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