Globalization and Individual Policy and Partisan Preferences

This project investigates how individuals’ exposure to global competition influences their feeling of economic security and a wide range of policy preferences, and how the emergence of new conflict lines between beneficiaries and losers of globalization changes the constituencies of political parties.I argue that globalization has very heterogenous effects, which depend both on individuals' exposure to global competition and their factor-endowments. This suggests that even within the same industry, exposure to global competition can be harmful to some people, but not to others. In developed countries, high-skilled individuals in exposed industries or occupations can be characterized as “globalization winners,” because they can sell their skills to global markets. In contrast, low-skilled individuals working in an exposed sector face serious problems. The goods they produce are most likely to be substituted with imports from low-wage countries and their jobs are the most likely to be moved abroad, so that they can be classified as “globalization losers.” Individuals working in sheltered industries or occupations constitute an intermediate category. I use individual-level data to test the implications of these differentiated effects of globalization.