Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/18398
Authors: 
Siedler, Thomas
Year of Publication: 
2007
Series/Report no.: 
DIW Discussion Papers 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

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