Economic perceptions and attitudes towards the European Union: A survey experiment Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2022

start page

  • 721

end page

  • 728


  • 4


  • 23

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1465-1165

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-2757


  • This article analyses the effect of economic assessments on attitudes towards the European Union. The literature has mostly studied this question with observational data (which does not allow to establish a causal link), and has not explored how different countries's experiences during economic hardship shape opinions about the European Union. To account for this, I run a survey vignette experiment in Germany - a creditor countries's during the Great Recession - and Spain - a debtor country. I find that having worse perceptions about the impact of the crisis erodes attitudes towards the European Union. The mechanism is, however, different across countries. In Germany, worse economic evaluations reduce the perception that the European Union is a beneficial project. Conversely, in Spain, negative assessments about the financial crisis are linked to beliefs that democratic representation is limited in the European Union. These results are relevant to understand the conditions and mechanisms by which attitudes towards the European Union are worsened.