Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/147248
Authors: 
Hufe, Paul
Peichl, Andreas
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
ZEW Discussion Papers 16-068
Abstract: 
It is well understood that political participation is stratified by socio-economic characteristics. Yet it is an open question how this finding bears on the normative evaluation of the democratic process. In this paper we argue that the equality of opportunity (EOp) concept furnishes an attractive framework to answer this question. Drawing on the analytical tools developed by an expanding empirical literature on EOp we investigate to what extent political participation is determined by factors that lie beyond individual control (circumstances) and thus is unfairly distributed. Using rich panel data from the US, we find that a lack of political opportunity is particularly pronounced for contacts with officials, participation in rallies and marches, and membership in political organizations. These opportunity shortages tend to complement each other across activities and persist over time. While family characteristics and psychological dispositions during childhood emanate as the strongest determinants, genetic variation is a small yet significant contributor to unequal political opportunities in the US.
Subjects: 
Equality of Opportunity
Political Participation
Genes
JEL: 
D39
D63
D72
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.