Year of Graduation
Anti-Imperialism as a Political Strategy
Joint HSE-NES Undergraduate Program in Economics
Present paper is an attempt to understand how anti-Americanization is used by governments in order to maintain power, and an attempt to evaluate which country’s characteristics contribute to its spread. We believe that for leaders of less developed, not American-friendly countries promotion of anti-Americanism can be a successful political strategy to distract society from domestic issues and attract voters. Exploiting this natural variation in the proneness to anti-Americanism, we estimate how GDP per capita growth rates correspond to changes in attitudes towards the U.S across different groups of countries. Our baseline results show that less developed non-American friendly countries experience an increase in anti-Americanism during periods of economic slowdown: 1-percentage point decrease in GDP per capita growth rate induces 0.3-percentage point increase in negative attitudes towards the U.S. For countries, institutionally less prone to anti-Americanism, the relationship is not statistically significant or is of different sign. We conclude that leaders of less developed non-U.S. friendly countries indeed abuse anti-Americanism as their political strategy. Interestingly, our results demonstrate a presence of a positive correlation between GDP per capita growth rates and negative attitudes towards the U.S. for developed American-friendly countries, which can be caused by competition between this group of countries (mainly EU) and the U.S.