Early-Career Scholar Forum

Leaning to the Left? Party Attitudes Toward Welfare Economics in Response to the 2008 Great Recession

Friday, 13 May 2022 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Miku Matsunaga Postdoctoral Project Researcher, Graduate School of Economics, Center for Research and Education in Program Evaluation (CREPE), The University of Tokyo
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Do political parties update their welfare policy positions to address voters’ economic needs in times of financial crisis? While existing research on the political consequences of the 2008 Great Recession has shed light on governmental monetary policies and the resulting impact on voter turnout, there is insufficient evidence of party-level analysis on welfare policy transformation. This article shows that political parties put more weight on inclusive welfare economic policy immediately after the Lehman Shock. We drew on the quasi-experimental regression discontinuity in Time (RDiT) approach to test the argument. By looking at 2,608 parliamentary elections and 957 parties from 53 countries between 1990 and 2018, our study shows that left-wing parties were more supportive of welfare policy after the recession. The finding enhances our understanding of the party’s responsiveness to voters’ economic demands. Furthermore, it would contribute to broad political behavior and welfare economics research.

About the Speaker

Miku Matsunaga is a postdoctoral project researcher at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics and Center for Research and Education in Program Evaluation (CREPE). Her main research interest include election violence, (radical) populist parties, Political Economy, and International Relations. After having received LL.B of International legal studies, she earned MPP from the University of Tokyo, MA of Politics from New York University, and Ph.D. from University of Essex.