We study if U.S. members of Congress who experienced an economic recession during early adulthood vote differently on redistribution-specific bills. We find that politicians who experienced a recession hold more conservative positions on redistribution, even compared to members of the same party. In light of recent empirical evidence showing that voters become more supportive of redistribution following a recession, our findings suggest that macroeconomic shocks might have a polarizing effect: recessions can create an ideological wedge between voters and their future representatives. We hypothesize and present evidence suggesting that this wedge might be explained by politicians’ more privileged background.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics