Stockholm university

Social Stratification, Welfare, and Social Policy Seminar: David Weisstanner (Aarhus University)


Date: Tuesday 25 October 2022

Time: 13.00 – 14.15

Location: F800

Permanent income and electoral realignment

Social Stratification, Welfare, and Social Policy Seminar, at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)
David Weisstanner, assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, presents: "Permanent income and electoral realignment".

This is an in-person only event.
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Many scholars argue that education or occupation, not income, are key to explain electoral realignment. Yet income is generally conceptualized as short-term, current income. In this paper, I introduce “permanent income”, a long-term income measure over people’s entire lifespan, to re-examine the relationship between income and electoral realignment. I argue that permanent income closely overlaps with education and that the association between permanent income and voting is driven by important changes in composition and size of education-income groups. Using national election studies from Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States from the 1950s to the present, I find that electoral realignment is driven by higher-educated voters with high permanent income increasingly associated with mainstream left parties, and by lower-educated voters with low permanent income increasingly associated with mainstream right parties. The findings point to both material and non-material channels behind the effects of income and education on electoral behaviour.