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Insider–outsider representation and social democratic labor market policy


Bürgisser, Reto Simon; Kurer, Thomas (2021). Insider–outsider representation and social democratic labor market policy. Socio-Economic Review, 19(3):1065-1094.

Abstract

Postindustrialization and occupational change considerably complicate partisan politics of the welfare state. This article asks about the determinants of contemporary social democratic labor market policy. We argue that the composition of their support base is a critical constraint and empirically demonstrate that the actual electoral clout of different voter segments decisively affects policy outcomes under left government. We calculate the electoral relevance of two crucial subgroups of the social democratic coalition, labor market insiders and outsiders, in 19 European democracies and combine these indicators with original data capturing the specific content of labor market reforms. The analysis reveals considerable levels of responsiveness and demonstrates that relative electoral relevance is consistently related to policy outcomes. Social democratic governments with a stronger support base among the atypically employed push labor market reforms on their behalf—and vice versa. Our findings have important implications for our understanding of policy-making in postindustrial societies.

Abstract

Postindustrialization and occupational change considerably complicate partisan politics of the welfare state. This article asks about the determinants of contemporary social democratic labor market policy. We argue that the composition of their support base is a critical constraint and empirically demonstrate that the actual electoral clout of different voter segments decisively affects policy outcomes under left government. We calculate the electoral relevance of two crucial subgroups of the social democratic coalition, labor market insiders and outsiders, in 19 European democracies and combine these indicators with original data capturing the specific content of labor market reforms. The analysis reveals considerable levels of responsiveness and demonstrates that relative electoral relevance is consistently related to policy outcomes. Social democratic governments with a stronger support base among the atypically employed push labor market reforms on their behalf—and vice versa. Our findings have important implications for our understanding of policy-making in postindustrial societies.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:general economics, econometrics and finance, sociology and political science labor market institutions, social policy, political parties, employment, comparativepolitics, political economy
Language:English
Date:July 2021
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 12:39
Last Modified:18 Mar 2024 04:41
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1475-1461
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwz040
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100017_146104
  • : Project TitleYears of Turmoil: The Political Consequences of the Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe