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Title:Does Parental Unemployment Cause Right-Wing Extremism? PDF Logo
Authors:Siedler, Thomas
Issue Date:2007
Series/Report no.:DIW-Diskussionspapiere 666
Abstract:Recent years have witnessed a rise in right-wing extremism among German youth and young adults. This paper investigates the extent to which the experience of parental unemployment during childhood affects young people's far right-wing attitudes and xenophobia. Estimates from three German data sets show a positive relationship between growing up with unemployed parents and right-wing extremism, with xenophobia in particular. This paper uses stark diŽerences in unemployment levels between East and West Germany, both before and after reunification, to investigate a causal relationship. Instrumental variables estimates suggest strong and significant effects of parental unemployment on right-wing extremism. Various panel estimates also point to a positive relationship. The results are consistent with classical theories of economic interest and voting behavior which predict that persons who develop feelings of economic insecurity are more susceptible to right-wing extremism and anti-foreign sentiments.
Subjects:Right-wing extremism
unemployment
instrumental variables estimations
panel estimators
intergenerational links
JEL:P16
J6
D72
C23
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des DIW
DIW-Diskussionspapiere

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