Contemporary Debates: Assoc. Prof. Alpaslan Akay

9 November 2023
17:00 - 18:30

The guest of the Contemporary Debates series organized by Kadir Has University Department of Economics will be Assoc. Prof. Alpaslan Akay (University of Gothenburg).

Dr. Akay will discuss “Waves of Fear: World Terror and Brexit” at B-201 on Thursday, November 9th at 17:00.

The event is in English.

Abstract: Waves of Fear: World Terror and Brexit
Alpaslan Akay, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Olivier Bargain, University of Bordeaux, France

We investigate how fear factors contributed to Brexit and, specifically, how global terror influenced the referendum. We match daily data on voting intentions with a comprehensive measure of global terrorism each day prior to the vote. We find that fluctuations in the intensity of terror significantly influenced the variation in “leave” intentions. We verify that terror outside the UK is random or at least not correlated with the timing of the interviews. The heterogeneity analysis is consistent with the fear-factor explanation: the effect of terror is all the more important when the victims are physically or culturally close to British citizens or when the latter live in areas perceived as more exposed (e.g. areas with high urban density or characterized by a large share of migrants). We also find that previous economic and politic explanations of Brexit, including high unemployment rates, raising extreme right-party voting, and austerity, significantly interact with the global terror on leave intentions. We discuss the role of rare events such as terrorist acts on key political decisions.

About the Speaker: Alpaslan completed his Ph.D. at University Gothenburg in 2008. Prior to his Ph.D at the University of Gothenburg, he also had another Ph.D position at Istanbul University for three years. Alpaslan had his undergraduate (in Economics) and Master’s (on Mathematical Statistics) studies at Istanbul University. His Ph.D is on immigrant assimilation and applied microeconomics. His research interests are very diverse and lie in several areas including behavioral and experimental economics, economics of happiness, economics of migration, and applied microeconomics. In recent years, he has focused particularly on happiness research and positional concerns. He is also interested in pedagogy and aiming to apply alternative teaching styles and pedagogical strategies. He has also collaborated actively with other researchers in several other disciplines of economics.

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