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Changing classes, changing preferences: how social class mobility affects economic preferences


Ares, Macarena (2020). Changing classes, changing preferences: how social class mobility affects economic preferences. West European Politics, 43(6):1211-1237.

Abstract

While many studies have identified an association between social class and economic preferences, we know little about the implications of changes in class location for these preferences. This article assesses how social class and intra-generational class mobility affect economic preferences drawing on longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey. In doing so, the article adopts a post-industrial perspective that considers horizontal and vertical class divisions. Even when time-invariant characteristics of individuals are kept constant (through fixed-effects estimation), it is found that both vertical and horizontal class location explain economic preferences. Thus, these estimations suggest that social class moulds preferences, even when accounting for factors that can lead to selection into classes. Moreover, people who change classes hold different economic preferences than their peers in the class of origin, but do not completely assimilate into their class of destination. This implies that growing intra-generational class mobility could undermine the class basis of political conflict.

Abstract

While many studies have identified an association between social class and economic preferences, we know little about the implications of changes in class location for these preferences. This article assesses how social class and intra-generational class mobility affect economic preferences drawing on longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey. In doing so, the article adopts a post-industrial perspective that considers horizontal and vertical class divisions. Even when time-invariant characteristics of individuals are kept constant (through fixed-effects estimation), it is found that both vertical and horizontal class location explain economic preferences. Thus, these estimations suggest that social class moulds preferences, even when accounting for factors that can lead to selection into classes. Moreover, people who change classes hold different economic preferences than their peers in the class of origin, but do not completely assimilate into their class of destination. This implies that growing intra-generational class mobility could undermine the class basis of political conflict.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:political science and international relations social class, class mobility, economic preferences, public opinion, panel data
Language:English
Date:September 2020
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 08:31
Last Modified:05 Feb 2021 21:05
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2019.1644575

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