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Department of Political Science

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 post-industrial societies is the profound change in the structure of employment. In the research group "Politics and Inequality" we ask about the economic and political consequences of deindustrialisation, globalisation and technological change. We analyse the distributive consequences of structural change in the labour market and investigate how political parties react to inequality, whether public opinion and political preferences change systematically and how this affects the political equilibrium. We place a special focus on the influence of (lack of) social and spatial mobility. Finally, we are also explicitly interested in the role of the welfare state: To what extent can governments moderate the link between structural change and individual political behaviour through targeted policy interventions?

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


Director of the area


Post Docs:
Dr. Bilyana Petrova

Doctoral students/assistants:
Valentina Consiglio

Main research areas

Labour markets, Occupational change, Digitalisation and automation, Social mobility, Political behaviour

Teaching and supervision

You can find detailed information about the courses of the staff members on the personal pages.


Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
8050 Zurich
Tel: 044 634 58 35 / 044 634 38 41
Office opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 12:00 / 13:30 - 16:30