Autor: Francisco Urdinez (2023)
How do voters react to a presidential candidate who warns against investments from a foreign country? This study examines voter reactions to a presidential candidate warning against foreign Chinese investments, using the Brazilian 2018 campaign as a case study. Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly criticised Chinese acquisitions of national assets, particularly in natural resource extraction. By analysing geographically referenced data on Chinese investments and electoral data, I find that Bolsonaro’s electoral success increased with higher levels of Chinese acquisitions, especially those related to natural resources. Post-election surveys also confirm a link between voting for Bolsonaro and rejecting Chinese investment. These findings highlight the connection between right-wing voters’ fears of globalisation and the rise of far-right candidates. The study contributes to understanding the role of ideology and nationalism in shaping voter attitudes towards foreign investment during a presidential campaign.