Where Jobs Are Squeezed by Chinese Trade, Voters Seek Extremes”

The New York Times; April 26, 2016

Disenchantment with the polit­i­cal main­stream is no sur­prise. But research to be unveiled this week by four lead­ing aca­d­e­m­ic econ­o­mists sug­gests that the dam­age to man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs from a sharp accel­er­a­tion in glob­al­iza­tion since the turn of the cen­tu­ry has con­tributed heav­i­ly to the nation’s bit­ter polit­i­cal divide … Cross-ref­er­enc­ing con­gres­sion­al vot­ing records and dis­trict-by-dis­trict pat­terns of job loss­es and oth­er eco­nom­ic trends between 2002 and 2010, the researchers found that areas hard­est hit by trade shocks were much more like­ly to move to the far right or the far left polit­i­cal­ly.

 

It’s not about incum­bents chang­ing their posi­tions,” said David Autor, an influ­en­tial schol­ar of labor eco­nom­ics and trade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the paper’s authors. “It’s about the replace­ment of mod­er­ates with more ide­o­log­i­cal suc­ces­sors.”