Was Brexit triggered by the old and unhappy? Or by financial feelings?

Liberini, F., Oswald, A. J., Proto, E. and Redoano, M. (2019) Was Brexit triggered by the old and unhappy? Or by financial feelings? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 161, pp. 287-302. (doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2019.03.024)

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Abstract

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted in favour of ‘Brexit’. This paper is an attempt to understand why. It examines the micro-econometric predictors of anti-EU sentiment. The paper provides the first evidence for the idea that a key channel of influence was through a person’s feelings about his or her own financial situation. By contrast, the paper finds relatively little regression-equation evidence for the widely discussed idea that Brexit was favoured by the old and the unhappy. The analysis shows that UK citizens’ feelings about their incomes were a substantially better predictor of pro-Brexit views than their actual incomes. This seems an important message for economists, because the subject of economics has typically avoided the study of human feelings in favour of ‘objective’ data.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Proto, Professor Eugenio
Authors: Liberini, F., Oswald, A. J., Proto, E., and Redoano, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-2681
ISSN (Online):0167-2681
Published Online:01 April 2019

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