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

Macarena Ares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1237
Number of pages27
JournalWest European Politics
Volume43
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • BRITAIN
  • EUROPE
  • LABOR
  • OCCUPATIONS
  • POLICY
  • SUPPORT
  • Social class
  • UNITED-STATES
  • VALUES
  • WORK
  • class mobility
  • economic preferences
  • panel data
  • public opinion

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