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Electoral Cleavages and Socioeconomic Inequality in Germany 1949-2017

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  • Thomas Piketty

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, WIL - World Inequality Lab)

  • Fabian Kosse

    (LMU - Institut für Informatik [München/Munich] - LMU - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Abstract

This paper explores the changing relationships between party support, electoral cleavages and socioeconomic inequality in Germany since 1949. We analyze the link between voting behaviors and socioeconomic characteristics of voters. In the 1950s-1970s, the vote for left parties was strongly associated with lower education and lower income voters. Since the 1980s voting for left parties has become associated with higher education voters. In effect, intellectual and economic elites seem to have drifted apart, with high-education elites voting for the left and high-income elites voting for the right. We analyze how this process is related to the occurrence of new parties since 1980 and the recent rise of populism.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Piketty & Fabian Kosse, 2020. "Electoral Cleavages and Socioeconomic Inequality in Germany 1949-2017," Working Papers halshs-03022265, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-03022265
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03022265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Piketty, 2018. "Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict," Working Papers hal-02878211, HAL.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. New Yimby City: A Roundtable Q&A with Open New York (Part II)
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2021-04-19 12:22:15

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    Cited by:

    1. Clara Martinez-Toledano & Alice Sodano, 2021. "Changing Party Systems, Socio-Economic Cleavages, and Nationalism in Northern Europe, 1956-2017," Working Papers halshs-03135013, HAL.
    2. Carmen Durrer de la Sota & Amory Gethin & Clara Martinez-Toledano, 2021. "Party System Transformation and the Structure of Political Cleavages in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, 1967-2019," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03165720, HAL.
    3. Cyprien Batut & Ulysse Lojkine & Paolo Santini, 2021. "Which side are you on? A historical perspective on union membership composition in four European countries," Working Papers halshs-03364022, HAL.
    4. Clara Martinez-Toledano & Alice Sodano, 2021. "Changing Party Systems, Socio-Economic Cleavages, and Nationalism in Northern Europe, 1956-2017," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03135013, HAL.

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