Nitin J. 2023 | BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
- Project Title: Political Machinery: Did Robots Swung the 2016 Election?
- Basis Independent Advisor: Jon Noble
Recently, several anti-globalization candidates and parties in highly globalized countries have experienced electoral victories. This research project examines the effects of globalization and technological change on political behavior and voting patterns while looking specifically at the robust evidence in the 2016 US election cycle. Groups in the labor market that have lost their jobs due to technological change are more likely to opt for radical political change. Previous research shows that support for Donald Trump was significantly higher in local labor markets more exposed to the adoption of robots. A counterfactual analysis based on estimates shows that Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin would have swung in favor of Hillary Clinton if the exposure to robots had not increased in the immediate years leading up to the election. Studies find that globalization [to job losses] creates distinct patterns of political behavior in winners and losers caused by different types of voter participation. Technological progress has increased standards of living globally, yet it has also created winners and losers in the labor market.