Institutional Trust and Political Involvement in Comparative Perspective. the Variation in the Impact of Precarious Employment

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:44
Location: Hörsaal 16 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Peter ROBERT, Széchenyi University, Györ, Hungary, Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences, HAS, Budapest, Hungary
In line with the topic of the session, the paper investigates the influence of precarious employment on three political outcome variables. The first one is related to trust (a factor based on institutional trust items); the second and third ones are related to behavior, voting as well as frequency of unconventional political activity. The analysis focuses on the role of a set of explanatory variables representing precarious employment like type of contract (permanent vs. temporary); fulltime vs. part-time; employee vs. self-employed in affecting the three outcome variables. Various types of regression models (OLS, binary logistic) are fitted to the data in accordance with the measurement level of the dependent variables. The influence of precarious employment on political outcomes is controlled for other individual characteristics, representing ‘cleavages’ in political science studies, like class (blue collar – white collar), urban-rural difference, age, religiosity, financial situation.

The general assumption is that precarious employment, flexibility in the labor market damages trust, loyalty and commitment and, consequently, has a negative impact on trust in political institutions, on participating elections or on involvement in other political actions. A country variation is expected on the ground whether an insider or outsider labor market operates in the country. European Social Survey data are used and this dataset allows differentiating between the following country types: social democratic (DK, FI, NO, SE), liberal (UK, IE), corporatist (BE, CH, DE-w, NL), Mediterranean (ES, FR, PT), post-socialist (DE-e, HU, PL, SI). More ESS rounds are merged but the timeframe (2000-2014) allows only a limited analysis of temporal changes. Number of countries is restricted to those having data from all rounds.

The paper intends to study a) the difference in how precarious employment influences the political outcome indicators; b) the difference between the country types in affecting political attitudes and behavior.