Workers or Consumers? A Survey Experiment on the Duality of Citizens’ Interests in the Politics of Trade

Megumi Naoi, Ikuo Kume

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    What determines the attitude of citizens toward international trade in advanced industrialized nations? The question raises an intriguing paradox for low-income citizens in developed economies. Increasing imports pose the most severe threat to job security for low-income citizens, who, on the other hand, reap the greatest benefits from cheaper imports as consumers. This article considers the role of dual identities that citizens have as both income-earners and consumers, and investigates how attitudes toward trade differ depending on which aspect of respondents’ lives—that is, work versus consumption—is activated. The results of an originally designed survey experiment conducted in Japan during the recession suggest that the activation of a consumer perspective is associated with much higher support for free trade. In particular, those respondents who have lower levels of job security are the ones who, with consumer-priming, increase their support for foreign imports.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1293-1317
    Number of pages25
    JournalComparative Political Studies
    Volume48
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sep 7

    Fingerprint

    citizen
    import
    worker
    job security
    politics
    experiment
    low income
    free trade
    recession
    world trade
    activation
    Japan
    threat
    income
    economy

    Keywords

    • experimental research
    • globalization
    • Japan

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Workers or Consumers? A Survey Experiment on the Duality of Citizens’ Interests in the Politics of Trade. / Naoi, Megumi; Kume, Ikuo.

    In: Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 48, No. 10, 07.09.2015, p. 1293-1317.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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