The Party Preferences of Atypical Workers in Germany

Paul Marx, Georg Picot

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Are party preferences of atypical workers distinct from those in stable employment? The welfare state literature debates this question, but very few empirical studies have been conducted. We examine the German case, being an example of a welfare state with strong social insurance traditions where the rise of atypical employment has been conspicuous. In particular, we test the argument that preferences of labour market outsiders may not differ because outsiders share households with insiders. We find that labour market status significantly affects party preferences. Compared with standard employees, atypical workers have stronger preferences for small left-wing parties. Living together with a labour market insider neutralizes these party preferences, but this type of household is not very common. Moreover, atypical workers differ from the unemployed by not participating less in elections than insiders. Therefore, it is expedient to distinguish between different types of labour market outsiders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Social Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)164-178
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2013


  • Germany
  • atypical employment
  • household composition
  • party preferences
  • unemployment

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