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Title

Descriptive misrepresentation by social class: Do voter preferences matter?

Authors
Publication Genève, 2018
Collection Unequal Democracies Working Papers; 1
Abstract This paper presents the results of a conjoint survey experiment in which Swiss citizens were asked to choose among parliamentary candidates distinguished by occupation, education, and income. Existing survey-experimental literature on this topic suggests that voters are indifferent to the class profiles of candidates or biased against candidates with high-status occupations and incomes. We find that the bias against upper middle-class candidates holds only for citizens in the lower half of the education/income distribution and that all voters are biased against low-skill working-class candidates. We also find that ideological proximity matters greatly to voter preferences for different candidates. Partisan polarization renders the class profile of candidates less salient to voters and might be a source of cross-national variation in descriptive misrepresentation by social income.
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Swiss National Science Foundation: 100017_166238
European Commission: UneqDems
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PONTUSSON, Harry Jonas, WUEST, Reto. Descriptive misrepresentation by social class: Do voter preferences matter?. 2018 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:116599

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Deposited on : 2019-04-23

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