Yotam Margalit's research while affiliated with Columbia University and other places

Publications (50)

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How do governing parties respond in terms of ideological positioning when voted out of office? We study both theoretically and empirically the factors that shape parties’ responses following a loss. Studying national elections in advanced industrialized democracies over the past 70 years, we show that parties tend to counter their pre-election shif...
Article
Is opposition to immigration deeply entrenched or is it open to updating in the face of new information? We explore this question by examining how attitudes of native citizens shift following exposure to information that points to potential upsides of immigration. We do so using a large-scale randomized experiment embedded in a text-comprehension s...
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Vast research on immigration lumps together native citizens' attitudes toward two different groups: the immigrant stock of non-naturalized resident aliens, and the immigrant flow , that is, the future arrival of foreigners seeking to enter and live in the country. Does popular opposition to immigration distinguish between the two, and if so, how? T...
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The effects of austerity in response to financial crises are widely contested and assumed to cause significant electoral backlash. Nonetheless, governments routinely adopt austerity when confronting economic downturns and swelling deficits. We explore this puzzle by distinguishing public acceptance of austerity as a general approach and support for...
Article
Significance The political influence of a group is typically explained in terms of its size, geographic concentration, or the wealth and power of the group’s members. This article introduces another dimension, the penumbra, defined as the set of individuals in the population who are personally familiar with someone in that group. Distinct from the...
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In response to President Trump instigating conflict over trade with China, the Chinese government countered by issuing tariffs on thousands of products worth over USD 110 billion in US exports. We explore whether China's tariffs reflected a strategy to apply counterpressure by hurting political support for the president's party. We also assess the...
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How does engagement with markets affect socioeconomic values and political preferences? A long line of thinkers has debated the nature and direction of such effects, but claims are difficult to assess empirically because market engagement is endogenous. We designed a large field experiment to evaluate the impact of financial markets, which have gro...
Article
Growing conventional wisdom holds that a chief driver of the populist vote is economic insecurity. I contend that this view overstates the role of economic insecurity as an explanation in several ways. First, it conflates the significance of economic insecurity in influencing the election outcome on the margin with its significance in explaining th...
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Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715746 What explains the sharp divide among European publics over the Grexit? We explore this question using original surveys from four of the largest European economies. We contend that differences in citizens' own economic interests, as well as the often-mentioned chasm between supporters of mainstream an...
Article
Immigration is one of the most contentious issues across contemporary democracies, but this has not always been the case. What accounts for this development? We study how immigration has evolved in the political debate in Western Europe over five decades by creating and analyzing a comprehensive new data set—Immigration in Party Manifestos (IPM)—of...
Preprint
To explain the political clout of different social groups, traditional accounts typically focus on the group's size, resources, or commonality and intensity of its members' interests. We contend that a group's "penumbra"-the set of individuals who are personally familiar with people in that group--is another important explanatory factor that merits...
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How does the experience of economic shocks affect individuals’ political views and voting behavior? Inspired partly by the fallout of the financial crisis of 2008, research on this question has proliferated. Findings from studies covering a broadening range of countries and economic contexts highlight several notable patterns. Economic shocks—e.g.,...
Article
Politicians bequeath an important legacy after they leave office: the public’s memories of their time in office. Indeed, the media often discuss legacy concerns as a key motivation of politicians. Yet, there has been little empirical analysis of how politicians’ legacies are interpreted and used by the mass public. Analyzing millions of comments fr...
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How do economic sanctions affect the political attitudes of individuals in targeted countries? Do they reduce or increase support for policy change? Are targeted, “smart” sanctions more effective in generating public support? Despite the importance of these questions for understanding the effectiveness of sanctions, they have received little system...
Article
With growing affective polarization in the United States, partisanship is increasingly an impediment to cooperation in political settings. But does partisanship also affect behavior in nonpolitical settings? We show evidence that it does, demonstrating its effect on economic outcomes across a range of experiments in real-world environments. A field...
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Financial bailouts for ailing Eurozone countries face deep and widespread opposition among voters in donor countries, casting major doubts over the political feasibility of further assistance efforts. What is the nature of the opposition and under what conditions can governments obtain broader political support for funding such large-scale, interna...
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Despite declining memberships, labor unions still represent large shares of electorates worldwide. Yet their political clout remains contested. To what extent, and in what way, do unions shape workers' political preferences? We address these questions by combining unique survey data of American workers and a set of inferential strategies that explo...
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Does religiosity affect adherents' attitude toward political compromise? To address this question and overcome the potential simultaneity of religious activity and political attitudes, we exploit exogenous variation in the start date of the Selichot (“Forgiveness”), a period in which many Jews, including nonadherents, take part in an intense prayer...
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Full-text available
What explains the sharp divide among European publics over the Grexit? We explore this question using original surveys from four of the largest European economies. We contend that differences in citizens' own economic interests, as well as the often-mentioned chasm between supporters of mainstream and extremist parties, provide little insight into...
Article
That citizens engage in retrospective voting is widely established in the literature. But to what extent is retrospection affected by the expectations that leaders set in advance? We develop a theoretical framework of how expectation setting affects voters' retrospective evaluations of incumbent performance. To test the theory, we conduct a series...
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Why do voters agree to bear the costs of bailing out other countries? Despite the prominence of public opinion in the ongoing debate over the eurozone bailouts, voters' preferences on the topic are poorly understood. We conduct the first systematic analysis of this issue using observational and experimental survey data from Germany, the country sho...
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It is widely established that voters respond to government performance. But can politicians affect retrospective voting by setting certain expectations ex ante? Observational data is insufficient to address this question because expectation setting may be confounded with performance or candidate traits, thereby producing spurious correlations. Acco...
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What explains variation in individuals’ opposition to immigration? While scholars have consistently shown cultural concerns to be strong predictors of opposition, findings regarding the labor-market competition hypothesis are highly contested. To help understand these divergent results, we distinguish between the prevalence and conditional impact o...
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To what extent do personal circumstances, as compared to ideological dispositions, drive voters’ preferences on welfare policy? Addressing this question is difficult because a person's ideological position can be an outcome of material interest rather than an independent source of preferences. The article deals with this empirical challenge using a...
Article
Does heightened religious participation affect adherents' attitude toward political compromise? To address this question and overcome the potential simultaneity of religious participation and political attitudes, we exploit exogenous variation in the start date of the Selichot ("Forgiveness"), a period in which many Israeli Jews, including non-adhe...
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Studies of policy preferences typically restrict measurements to a single dimension on which respondents are asked to choose between support and opposition to a policy. However, major policy decisions are often multidimensional as they entail a bundle of policy features. We present a survey approach based on conjoint analysis that allows scholars t...
Article
Margalit, Yotam. (2012) Lost in Globalization: International Economic Integration and the Sources of Popular Discontent. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2012.00747.x © 2012 International Studies Association What are the sources of popular opposition to economic globalization? A common answer in the literature is the advers...
Article
What determines the identity category to which individuals feel they most belong? What is the political significance of one's proclaimed identity? Recent research addresses these questions using surveys that explicitly ask individuals about their identity. Yet little is known about the nature of the attachments conveyed in responses to identity que...
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Full-text available
Why do voters agree to bear the costs of bailing out other countries? Despite the prominence of public opinion in the ongoing debate, voters’ preferences on the eurozone bailouts are poorly understood. Our analysis uses observational and experimental data from Germany, the country shouldering the largest share of the EU's financial rescue fund. We...
Article
Does globalization's impact on the labor market affect how people vote? I address this question using a new dataset based on plant-level data that measures the impact of foreign competition on the U.S. workforce over an 8-year period. Analyzing change in the president's vote share, I find that voters were substantially more sensitive to the loss of...
Article
To what extent are voters' attitudes toward immigration determined by considerations of material self interest and fears about labor market competition? General equilibrium models predict that immigration has negligible effects on the wages and employment of most native workers, and these predictions are generally confirmed by the bulk of the empir...
Article
Economic interests and party identification are two key, long-standing factors that shape people’s attitudes on government policy. Recent research has increasingly focused on how short-term communication effects (e.g., issue framing, media priming) also influence public opinion. Rather than posit that political attitudes reflect one source of consi...

Citations

... After identifying the incidents, I retrieved the news coverage and social media comments on these five cases. The media data was generated from two leading Israeli newspapers: the popular daily Yedioth Ahronoth and the influential highbrow daily Haaretz (the highly circulated free daily Israel Today was not included in the sample, as it serves more as a political investment rather than an independent newspaper, see Grossman et al. 2022). It was retrieved using a search of both newspapers' archives for the names of the journalists involved in the five incidents during the relevant period. ...
... A study of the United Kingdom, for example, found that when an issue is highly salient, it may force policy responses from both governing and opposition parties (Ford Dmitrieva, Heller, Chentsova-Dutton et al. 2015). This suggests that, along with influencing public opinion, the framing and salience of an issue may directly affect the behaviour of political parties (Facchini, Margalit and Nakata 2016). Taking the initial example of immigration, this implies that the greater the issue salience and the more negative the framing the more likely anti-immigration positions are pursued. ...
... Negative attitudes centre around a triad of attitudinal bunches; economic burden, sectarian/ethnic considerations, and safety of the host population. Such attitudes have been reported widely, including within the context of Turkey [4], Japan [5], and Europewide [6][7][8]. Buffers against holding negative attitudes towards refugees seem to come from higher levels of education [5,9] while the informational flow from elites also holds sway [5]. ...
... However, some research demonstrated that sometimes parties tend to counteract their pre-election shifts, and do so particularly reluctantly after losing (see: Margalit et al. 2021). The extent of these ideological shifts is more limited in parties with larger electorates voting for party leaders. ...
... However, participants were less supportive of resettling international climate refugees than internal climate refugees and refugees of war, which is instead consistent with the lower contact Americans have had with international climate refugees compared to other refugee groups. Margalit and Solodoch (2021) note that host nationals feel more morally obligated towards immigrants already living in their country than those living overseas and seeking entry into the country, so they are more willing to offer visas to these groups. Sana (2021) also notes that Americans tend to respond more favourably about refugees who are already in the nation compared to those yet to resettle. ...
... The results may come as a surprise for some welfare scholars, but they are in line with previous research that questions the assumptions underpinning electoral consequence theory. Firstly, even the voters of pro-welfare parties do not unanimously oppose welfare cuts and support welfare expansion, implying that retrenchment is not generally punished and expansion not generally rewarded (Bansak et al., 2021;Busemeyer & Garritzmann, 2017;Giger, 2012). Secondly, there is less potential for electoral punishment due to preference mismatch between parties and voters than assumed because parties are influenced by their voters (Adams et al., 2004;Bernardi et al., 2021;Engler & Zohlnhöfer, 2019;Romeijn, 2020) while parties are also able to shift the preferences of their voters (Bullock, 2011;Slothuus & Bisgaard, 2021). ...
... Furthermore, recent studies have explored the rally effect of economic sanctions ( Grossman, Manekin, and Margalit 2018 ;Frye 2019 ;Alexseev and Hale 2020 ;Sejersen 2021 ). Economic sanctions can alter the policy preferences of the target country's population by revealing the sanctioner's preferences or by exerting a negative impact on the target country's citizens ( Gueorguiev, McDowell, and Steinberg 2020 ;Kim and Margalit 2021 ). Thus, military action and economic sanctions can increase public support for national leaders and policy outcomes and can alter citizens' policy preferences. ...
... Our findings also speak more generally to the study of "financialization", i.e., the increasing dominance of the financial sector over the economy. One offshoot of this literature considers how access to financial assets, like stocks, can change the policy preferences and attitudes toward public spending of individuals (Kaustia, et al., 2016;Jha & Shayo, 2019;Margalit & Shayo, 2021). Closer to our concerns, "access to credit" appears to drive preferences for redistribution and for publicly-provided safety nets (Mertens, 2017;Hariri, et al., 2020;Wiedemann, 2021;Markgraf & Rosas, 2019). ...
... In foreign election interventions, often what is most difficult to show is that attempts to sway the election are, in fact, being made (Brutger, Chaudoin, and Kagan 2021). Senders of interventions often deny or fail to acknowledge that their actions can be construed as that: China manipulated retaliatory tariffs in a manner that hurt the Republican Party (Kim and Margalit 2021). Foreign governments can argue that the discourse promoted through propaganda efforts has no obvious political beneficiary, and in any event, it is not intended as election intervention. ...
... In contrast, studying priorities provides valuable information to policymakers and scholars alike about which policies citizens deem essential (see also, Hanretty et al., 2020). Thus, an emerging body of research has explicitly studied trade-offs in the realm of fiscal policy (Bansak et al., 2021;Barnes et al., 2022;Bremer and Bürgisser, 2022a;Hübscher et al., 2021;Tuxhorn et al., 2021), social policy (Bremer and Bürgisser, 2022b;Busemeyer and Garritzmann, 2017;Gallego and Marx, 2017;Häusermann et al., 2019), and environmental policy (Armingeon and Bürgisser, 2021). ...