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East Asia, Centre for the Study of Global Japan

JPOSS #44: “Deindustrialisation and Election Outcomes – Evidence from Japan”

The forty-fourth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on December 7, 2023. Christina L. Davis (Harvard University) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q&A session.

Matthew Morris (University of Nottingham) presented his paper examining the effects of deindustrialization on changing voting patterns over the course of three decades in Japan from 1983 to 2012. Drawing from the literature on economic voting, Morris considers the effect of Japan’s transition from a manufacturing economy to a service economy on shifting patterns of ideological voting. Specifically, he tests his theory at two levels of analyses, the prefectural level and the individual level. At the prefectural level, Morris constructs outcome measures by combining measures of ideological positions from the Manifesto Project with a weighted vote share of parties at the prefectural level. His findings suggest a positive relationship between a decline in manufacturing and support for autarchy. At the individual level, his analysis finds age variations in voting patterns.

Maeda Ko (University of North Texas) and Stephen Weymouth (Georgetown University) offered suggestions on ways to improve the validity of the measures and the statistical model used in the study as well as shared their thoughts on the underlying theory and mechanisms driving the outcomes. During the Q&A session, participants furthered discussions on alternative sources of data and dynamic changes to parties and voters during the period analyzed.

The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS:

Originally published on the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series blog. Original publication can be found here.