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Job Loss Fears and (Extremist) Party Identification: First Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Ingo Geishecker
  • Thomas Siedler

Abstract

There is a large body of literature analyzing the relationship between objective economic conditions and voting behavior, but there is very little evidence of how perceived economic insecurity impacts on political preferences. Using seventeen years of household panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we examine whether job loss fears impact on individuals' party identification. Consistent with the deprivation theory, we find strong and robust evidence that subjective job loss fears foster affinity for parties at the far right-wing of the political spectrum. The effects are broadly comparable in direction and magnitude with the ones from objective unemployment and being out of the labor force. However, our empirical estimates do not suggest that job loss fears result in people withdrawing their support from political parties altogether or increasingly identify with extremist left-wing parties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 511.

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Length: 35 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp511

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Keywords: job insecurity; party identification; prospective voting; economic worries;

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  1. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2011. "Scarring or Scaring? The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment and Future Unemployment Risk," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(310), pages 283-293, 04.
  2. King, Gary & Rosen, Ori & Tanner, Martin & Wagner, Alexander F., 2008. "Ordinary Economic Voting Behavior in the Extraordinary Election of Adolf Hitler," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 951-996, December.
  3. Eric Brunner & Stephen L. Ross & Ebonya Washington, 2011. "Economics and Policy Preferences: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 888-906, August.
  4. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Does democracy foster trust?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 251-269, June.
  5. Armin Falk & Andreas Kuhn & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Unemployment and Right‐wing Extremist Crime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 260-285, 06.
  6. Melvin Stephens, Jr., 2003. "Job Loss Expectations, Realizations, and Household Consumption Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Schooling and Citizenship in a Young Democracy: Evidence from Postwar Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(2), pages 315-338, 06.
  8. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Daughters and Left-Wing Voting," IZA Discussion Papers 2103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  10. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap And The Decline In Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961, August.
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