Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Neither left behind nor superstar: ordinary winners of digitalization at the ballot box


Gallego, Aina; Kurer, Thomas; Schöll, Nikolas (2022). Neither left behind nor superstar: ordinary winners of digitalization at the ballot box. The Journal of Politics, 84(1):418-436.

Abstract

The nascent literature on the political consequences of technological change studies either left-behind voters or successful technology entrepreneurs (“superstars”). However, it neglects the large share of skilled workers who benefit from limited but steady economic improvements in the knowledge economy. This article examines how workplace digitalization affects political preferences among the entire active labor force by combining individual-level panel data from the United Kingdom with industry-level data on information and communication technology capital stocks between 1997 and 2017. We first demonstrate that digitalization was economically beneficial for workers with middle and high levels of education. We then show that growth in digitalization increased support for the Conservative Party, increased support for the incumbent party, and voter turnout among beneficiaries of economic change. Our results hold in an instrumental variable analysis and multiple robustness checks. While digitalization undoubtedly produces losers (along with some superstars), ordinary winners of digitalization are an important stabilizing force that is content with the political status quo.

Abstract

The nascent literature on the political consequences of technological change studies either left-behind voters or successful technology entrepreneurs (“superstars”). However, it neglects the large share of skilled workers who benefit from limited but steady economic improvements in the knowledge economy. This article examines how workplace digitalization affects political preferences among the entire active labor force by combining individual-level panel data from the United Kingdom with industry-level data on information and communication technology capital stocks between 1997 and 2017. We first demonstrate that digitalization was economically beneficial for workers with middle and high levels of education. We then show that growth in digitalization increased support for the Conservative Party, increased support for the incumbent party, and voter turnout among beneficiaries of economic change. Our results hold in an instrumental variable analysis and multiple robustness checks. While digitalization undoubtedly produces losers (along with some superstars), ordinary winners of digitalization are an important stabilizing force that is content with the political status quo.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
9 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

171 downloads since deposited on 07 Dec 2021
24 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:sociology and political science
Language:English
Date:1 January 2022
Deposited On:07 Dec 2021 10:42
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 02:58
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0022-3816
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/714920
  • Language: English