The Use of Panel Data in Studying Social Inequality and Political Behaviour

Income and social inequality have increased notably across many advanced democracies in recent decades. Despite much academic research into both the determinants of this increase and its impact on voting and policy preferences, there are systematic gaps in our understanding of the relationship between socio-economic inequalities and political behaviour. Several questions remain partially understudied. First, how accurately are inequalities actually perceived by people and what factors shape these perceptions? Second, how does economic and social inequality affect not only policy preferences on redistribution and welfare states, but also more general political attitudes? In turn, how do attitudinal changes translate into electoral behaviour? Third, how labour market inequalities translate into rising income differences and changes in popular attitudes? Lastly, how do changes on the demand- and the supply-side of different party systems interact and influence the relationship between inequality and voting?

This workshop seeks to answer these questions by bringing together researchers from different sub-disciplines in comparative political economy, political sociology, economic sociology and party politics. The line-up consists of a mix of early and mid-career as well as senior scholars who are conducting cutting-edge research in the field of inequality and political behaviour.

As a reference for studies of Western Europe and the US we treat Poland which after 2015 has been regarded as one of the primary cases of democratic backsliding which went along with a sudden turn in its post-transition political economy. While focusing on specific cases, we intend to highlight the use of panel datasets in studying social, economic and political inequalities. In our workshop we will feature papers using German Socio-Economic Panel Study, Understanding Society: UK Household Longitudinal Study, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979: Children and Young Adults (US), The Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN), and Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences (LISS) Data.


David Rueda, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Marcin Ślarzyński, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN), Nuffield College associate member

The workshop is co-organised by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and receives organizational support from the project “Structures and Futures: The Polish Panel Survey, 1988-2023” (NCN Poland, 2022/45/B/HS6/04090).

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