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How technological change affects regional voting patterns


Schöll, Nikolas; Kurer, Thomas (2024). How technological change affects regional voting patterns. Political Science Research and Methods, 12(1):94-112.

Abstract

Does technological change fuel political disruption? Drawing on fine-grained labor market data from Germany, this paper examines how technological change affects regional electorates. We first show that the well-known decline in manufacturing and routine jobs in regions with higher robot adoption or investment in information and communication technology (ICT) was more than compensated by parallel employment growth in the service sector and cognitive non-routine occupations. This change in the regional composition of the workforce has important political implications: Workers trained for these new sectors typically hold progressive political values and support progressive pro-system parties. Overall, this composition effect dominates the politically perilous direct effect of automation-induced substitution. As a result, technology-adopting regions are unlikely to turn into populist-authoritarian strongholds.

Abstract

Does technological change fuel political disruption? Drawing on fine-grained labor market data from Germany, this paper examines how technological change affects regional electorates. We first show that the well-known decline in manufacturing and routine jobs in regions with higher robot adoption or investment in information and communication technology (ICT) was more than compensated by parallel employment growth in the service sector and cognitive non-routine occupations. This change in the regional composition of the workforce has important political implications: Workers trained for these new sectors typically hold progressive political values and support progressive pro-system parties. Overall, this composition effect dominates the politically perilous direct effect of automation-induced substitution. As a result, technology-adopting regions are unlikely to turn into populist-authoritarian strongholds.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Automation occupational determinants of political preferences political preferences robots technological change voters
Language:English
Date:1 January 2024
Deposited On:14 Feb 2024 11:18
Last Modified:31 Mar 2024 01:40
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:2049-8470
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2022.62
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)