18 September 2023

Article on house prices and populist upsurge honoured


Sudden shifts in house prices can increase support for right-wing populist parties. This is the focal point of an article co-authored by Associate Professor Frederik Hjorth. The article is now being honoured by the APSA European Politics and Society section.

Housing. Photo: Florencia Viadana, Unsplash
Photo: Florencia Viadana, Unsplash

Populist parties, especially from the right side of the political spectrum, have increased their voter support dramatically in recent years, generating a lot of interest in the media and among researchers. Four researchers now suggest that the housing market may have been an important part of the right-wing populist surge. 

"We build on existing work that links house prices to classic economic left/right political identification. We argue that house prices can also shape preferences in another political dimension: support for populist nationalism over liberal cosmopolitanism," says Frederik Hjorth, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science. 

Seen throughout Scandinavia

The phenomenon is described in the article "Sheltering Populists? House Prices and the Support for Populist Parties", published in The Journal of Politics. In addition to Frederik Hjorth, the authors of the article are Ben Ansell from the University of Oxford, Jacob Nyrup from the University of Oslo and Martin Vinæs Larsen from Aarhus University. 

"Using new Danish data at district and individual level, we show that negative shocks in house prices during the election cycle are strongly associated with shifts in support for the Danish People's Party. This trend has been reinforced during recent elections, and we confirm the pattern using local housing data from Sweden, Norway and Finland," explains Frederik Hjorth. 

Provides new insights on a hot topic

The authors of "Sheltering Populists?" are now honoured with the "Best Article Award 2022", presented by the APSA European Politics and Society section. For Frederik Hjorth, the award is an important recognition of a central goal of his research: to combine studies of Danish politics and society with international research agendas. 

"This article speaks to an international political science debate on the causes of right-wing populism, and at the same time creates new knowledge about the interplay between economics and politics in Denmark," he concludes. 

You can read the article here.


Frederik Hjorth
Associate Professor, Ph.D., Department of Political Science
Mail: fh@ifs.ku.dk
Phone: +45 35 32 41 04

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications officer
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk
Phone: +45 93 56 53 29