The Economic Costs of Democratic Backsliding? Backsliding and State Location Preferences of US Job Seekers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Political checks on democratic backsliding can be ineffective. But, there may be economic costs for backsliding regimes if talented individuals seeking job opportunities prefer to not live in backsliding areas. Of course, factors other than the quality of democracy may be more important to job seekers, limiting the efficacy of this economic check. We test these possibilities in an area characterized as experiencing backsliding—the US states—using a conjoint experiment. We provide hypothetical job opportunities to a sample of US adults in the labor market and another sample of students at a large, selective public university. We find that jobs located in states experiencing democratic backsliding are viewed less favorably. Moreover, some types of backsliding affect willingness to accept a hypothetical job, especially among Democrats in the nonstudent sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1238
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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