The Role of Threat and Economic Uncertainty in Support for Scottish Independence

Existing research has consistently shown that perceptions of the potential economic consequences of Scottish independence are vital to levels of support for constitutional change. This paper attempts to investigate the mechanism by which expectations of the economic consequences of independence are formed. A hypothesised causal micro-level mechanism is tested that relates constitutional preferences to the existing skill investments of the individual. Evidence is presented that larger skill investments are associated with a greater likelihood of perceiving economic threats from independence. Additionally, greater perceived threat results in lower support for independence. The impact of uncertainty on both positive and negative economic expectations is also examined. While uncertainty has little effect on negative expectations, it significantly reduces the likelihood of those with positive expectations supporting independence. Overall, it appears that a general economy-wide threat is most significant, and it is conjectured that this stems a lack of information on macroeconomic governance credentials.

Date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Authors: 
Kopaskar, D.
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Journal: 
Scottish Affairs
Volume: 
23
Issue: 
1
Pages: 
103-124
DOI: 
http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/scot.2014.0007

Research Strand: