Much recent research implicitly links the rise of populism to economic inequality, arguing that populist parties successfully mobilize among the ‘losers of globalisation’. This talk discusses the mechanisms how income inequality translates into political outcomes, the types of inequality likely to matter, and its resulting effects on political preferences and voting behaviour. Macro-level evidence for 20 OECD countries shows that trends in income inequality are strongly associated with support for radical right parties. Individual-level survey data suggest that subjective social status mediates the impact of rising market inequality and that dynamic patterns of income growth or stagnation are decisive for political preference formation.


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