Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization
NBER Working Paper No. 26669
We measure trends in affective polarization in nine OECD countries over the past four decades. The US experienced the largest increase in polarization over this period. Three countries experienced a smaller increase in polarization. Five countries experienced a decrease in polarization. These findings are most consistent with explanations of polarization based on changes that are more distinctive to the US (e.g., changing party composition, growing racial divisions, the emergence of partisan cable news), and less consistent with explanations based on changes that are more universal (e.g., the emergence of the internet, rising economic inequality).
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26669