CAGE-SMF briefing: Austerity, Immigration or Globalisation: Was Brexit predictable?

Conventional wisdom says that the vote for Brexit was a response to migration. New evidence suggests that is not true.

In this joint briefing by the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) and the Social Market Foundation, Thiemo Fetzer, Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Warwick, showed that austerity was the salient factor that activated existing social and economic grievances, which significantly bolstered the Leave vote. In the week that new immigration statistics are published, he examined the factors that drove the Leave vote, discussing how far the vote was an act of protest against globalisation and to what extent Brexit can be seen as an “informed choice”. Thiemo argued that the economic grievances that were born out markedly in the EU referendum are likely to persist well-beyond the UK exiting the EU.

Read Thiemo Fetzer’s policy report: Austerity, Immigration or Globalisation: Was Brexit Predictable? 

Watch a video of the talk here and view the speaker’s slides here

Thiemo Fetzer
Associate Professor in Economics, University of Warwick

Nigel Keohane
Research Director, Social Market Foundation

About the speaker:
Thiemo Fetzer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. He is also affiliated with the Pearson Institute at University of Chicago, the Spatial Economics Research Group at London School of Economics and the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at Warwick. He has completed his PhD in Economics at the London School of Economics and held a visiting appointment at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Thiemo has worked as consultant for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

Thiemo’s research interest lie in the fields of political economy, development and natural resources and his work has been published in journals, including the Economic Journal, the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Development Economics and the Journal of the European Economics Association.

His current ongoing research includes work identifying and quantifying the economic origins of political instability and studying the economic drivers of populism in the context of the UK and the EU as a whole.


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