CES: Seminar on the State and Capitalism since 1800: Does Material Hardship Affect Political Preferences? It Depends on the Political Context


Friday, February 24, 2017, 2:15pm to 4:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Hoffmann Room, 27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge


Charlotte Cavaillé

Assistant professor of Political Science, Georgetown University


To what extent does material hardship affect political preferences? We argue that preference updating happens at the intersection of contextual pull factors, such as
elite discourse, and individual push factors, such as an individual’s economic conditions. One key implication is that individuals are more likely to translate personal
hardship into higher support for left-wing redistributive social policies when political elites actively compete over these issues. Using data from 22 European
countries, we show that income is a better predictor of support for redistribution in countries where parties polarize over economic and redistributive issues.


** Please note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**