Ignacio Jurado, Rosa M. Navarrete
Economic Crisis and Attitudes Towards Democracy: How Ideology Moderates Reactions to Economic Downturns

Frontiers in Political Science, 2021: 3, issue August 2021, (article no. 685199)
ISSN: 2673-3145 (online)

This paper studies the extent to which economic crises bust different reactions depending on individual ideological identity. Our argument is that individual left-right identification shapes how citizens evaluate the functioning of democracy, and consequently, it moderates the impact of economic crises on democratic discontent. We argue that left-wing individuals’views on democratic performance would be more heavily affected by economic results and strongly shaped by the (in)capacity of a democracy to represent its citizens in its reaction to the economic crisis. After testing our argument with data from the ESS, we provide evidence from a survey experiment conducted in Spain. Both analyses show that economic crises are relevant in explaining democratic dissatisfaction, but the strength of their impact depends on ideological identities. Economic results have a stronger effect on the satisfaction with democracy of left-wing individuals by negatively affecting their perception of the functioning of democratic representation.