Politics and Inequality

Most advanced democracies have experienced a rise in economic inequality in recent decades. One of the most important causes of stratification in today's postindustrial societies is the profound change in the employment structure. In the research group "Politics and Inequality" we ask about the economic and political consequences of deindustrialization, globalization and technological change. We analyze the distributive consequences of structural change in the labor market and investigate how political parties respond to inequality, whether public opinion and political preferences change systematically, and how this affects the political and electoral landscape more generally. We place a special focus on the influence of (a lack of) social and spatial mobility. Finally, we are explicitly interested in the role of the welfare state: To what extent can governments moderate the link between structural change and individual political behavior through targeted policy interventions?

We investigate these questions primarily using various methods of quantitative social research based on a wide range of data sources. For example, survey and panel data on individual labor market experiences and political behavior, administrative data to capture spatial inequality, millions of geocoded online job ads to analyze job supply in changing labor markets, or detailed rent data to study the housing market.