How does Income Inequality affect the Support for Populist Parties? [post]

Lukas Stoetzer, Johannes Giesecke, Heike Klüver
2021 unpublished
Recent studies provide evidence that income inequality is a relevant driver for the electoral success of populist parties all over Europe. In this article, we aim to understand how exactly increasing income inequality can lead to support for populist parties. More specifically, we discuss four different attitudinal mechanisms that have been suggested in previous research: economic insecurities, trust in political elites, social integration and social identity. We rely on eight waves of the
more » ... ean Social Survey and find that especially trust in political elites is linked to rising income inequality and populist support. However, a causal mediation analysis shows that none of these mechanisms is sufficient to understand the impact of income inequality onsupport for populists. This finding raises questions regarding the empirical relevance of existing theories to explain how macroeconomic changes in inequality became a pre-condition for the rise of populist parties.
doi:10.31219/ fatcat:4xzv2t7x55atnoqikuuqtrdhie