NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Stephan Heblich

Department of Economics
University of Bristol
8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
UK

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2017Instrumental Variables and Causal Mechanisms: Unpacking The Effect of Trade on Workers and Voters
with Christian Dippel, Robert Gold, Rodrigo Pinto: w23209
We investigate the impact of import exposure on regional labor markets and voting behavior. Using a standard IV model, we find in German data from 1987–2009 that import exposure caused both significant labor market adjustments and increasing support for extreme-right parties. Our focus is on the question that naturally follows: to what extent was the effect of import exposure on labor markets responsible for the political response? The standard IV model cannot answer this question. We propose a new framework for mediation analysis in IV settings that can, while making minimal additional assumptions on the causal relations between the unobserved variables. We find that the effect of import exposure on voting that is mediated by labor market adjustments is larger than the total effect of imp...
November 2016Fear of Fracking? The Impact of the Shale Gas Exploration on House Prices in Britain
with Steve Gibbons, Esther Lho, Christopher Timmins: w22859
Shale gas has grown to become a major new source of energy in countries around the globe. While its importance for energy supply is well recognized, there has also been public concern over potential risks such as damage to buildings and contamination of water supplies caused by geological disturbance from the hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) extraction process. Although commercial development has not yet taken place in the UK, licenses for drilling were issued in 2008 implying potential future development. This paper examines whether public fears about fracking are evident in changes in house prices in areas that have been licensed for shale gas exploration. Our estimates suggest differentiated effects. Licensing did not affect house prices but fracking the first well in 2011, which cause...
December 2015Globalization and Its (Dis-)Content: Trade Shocks and Voting Behavior
with Christian Dippel, Robert Gold: w21812
We identify the causal effect of trade-integration with China and Eastern Europe on voting in Germany from 1987 to 2009. Looking at the entire political spectrum, we find that only extreme-right parties respond significantly to trade integration. Their vote share increases with import competition and decreases with export access opportunities. We unpack mechanisms using reduced form evidence and a causal mediation analysis. Two-thirds of the total effect of trade integration on voting appears to be driven by observable labor market adjustments, primarily changes in manufacturing employment. These results are mirrored in an individual-level analysis in the German Socioeconomic Panel.
 
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