Working papers

Decomposing the Rise of the Populist Radical Right
with Oren Danieli, Noam Gidron, and Ro’ee Levy
Last updated in March 2023

Abstract Support for populist radical right parties in Europe has dramatically increased in the twenty-first century. We decompose the rise of the populist radical right between 2005 and 2020 into four components: changes in party positions, changes in voter attributes (demographics and opinions), changes in voters' priorities, and a residual. We merge two wide data sets on party positions and voter attributes and estimate voter priorities using a probabilistic voting model. We find that shifts in party positions and changes in voter attributes explain only a negligible part of the rise of populist radical right parties. The primary driver behind the success of these parties lies in voters' changing priorities. Particularly, voters are less likely to decide which party to support based on parties' economic positions. Instead, voters---mainly older, non-unionized, low-educated men---increasingly prioritize nativist cultural issues. This allows populist radical right parties to tap into a pre-existing reservoir of culturally conservative voters.

Welfare Effects of Polarization: Occupational Mobility over the Life-cycle
with Sagiri Kitao
Last updated in July 2020

Abstract What are the welfare effects of polarization: wage and employment losses of middle-class workers relative to low- and high-skill groups? We build a model of overlapping generations who choose consumption, savings, labor supply, and occupations over their life-cycles, and accumulate human capital. We simulate a wage shift observed since the early 1980s and investigate individuals’ responses. Polarization improves welfare of young individuals that are high-skilled, while it hurts low-skilled individuals across all ages and especially younger ones. The gain of the high-skilled is larger for generations entering in later periods, who can fully exploit the rising skill premium.

Work in progress

Automation and Comparative Advantage

Abstract I study how automation affects comparative advantage. In the past centuries, the initial stages of economic development featured comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive sectors due to low-skill-labor abundance, as predicted by the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem. I show, however, that this relationship has weakened—or even reversed—in the 21st century. This decoupling/reversal occurs because automation provides developed countries with endogenous comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive sectors. My counterfactual analysis shows that recent developing countries would have specialized in low-skill intensive sectors and enjoyed more gains from trade, as East Asian countries did, without automation in developed countries.

Minimum Wage and Technology

COVID-19 Research

Who suffers from the COVID-19 shocks? Labor market heterogeneity and welfare consequences in Japan
with Sagiri Kitao and Minamo Mikoshiba; Publisher’s Site
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, March 2021

Abstract Effects of the COVID-19 shocks in the Japanese labor market vary across workers of different age groups, genders, employment types, education levels, occupations, and industries. We document heterogeneous changes in employment and earnings in response to the COVID-19 shocks, observed in various data sources during the initial months after the onset of the pandemic in Japan. We then feed these shocks into a life-cycle model of heterogeneous agents to quantify welfare consequences of the COVID-19 shocks. In each dimension of the heterogeneity, the shocks are amplified for those who earned less prior to the crisis. Contingent workers are hit harder than regular workers, younger workers than older workers, females than males, and workers engaged in social and non-flexible jobs than those in ordinary and flexible jobs. The most severely hurt by the COVID-19 shocks has been a group of female, contingent, low-skilled workers, engaged in social and non-flexible jobs and without a spouse of a different group.