HAND Fellow Shines Light on Political Divide


Researchers in various fields are seeking to help explain the increasing U.S. political divide, including Kaveh Majlesi. A HAND fellow from June 2006 through July 2007, Kaveh researched and coauthored a paper examining how rising import competition has contributed to the polarization of U.S. politics.

Importing Political Polarization? The Electoral Consequences of Rising Trade Exposure, coauthored by David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson, has received significant media attention. Their study looks at U.S. regions exposed to low-cost Chinese imports and finds that those areas hit hardest by competing Chinese imports are more likely to swing far-right or far-left politically. Economic adversity may particularly benefit nativist politicians who compete by encouraging voters to align according to their racial or ethnic identity. These trade shocks are also geographically concentrated and easily recognizable in voting patterns.

Kaveh currently works as the assistant professor of economics at Lund University in Sweden. During his time at the HAND Foundation, he launched the HAND Economics Forum and helped develop the scholarship program. To read the full paper, please go HERE.