Scientific article
Open access

Voter preferences as a source of descriptive (mis)representation by social class

First online date2022-01-31

This paper presents the results of a conjoint survey experiment in which Swiss citizens were asked to choose among parliamentary candidates with different class profiles determined by occupation, education and income. Existing survey-experimental literature on this topic suggests that respondents are indifferent to the class profiles of candidates or biased against candidates with high-status occupations and high incomes. We find that respondents are biased against upper middle-class candidates as well as routine working-class candidates. While the bias against upper middle-class candidates is primarily a bias among working-class individuals, the bias against routine working-class candidates is most pronounced among middle-class individuals. Our supplementary analysis of observational data confirms the bias against routine working-class candidates, but not the bias against upper middle-class candidates.

  • Descriptive representation
  • Political inequality
  • Social class
  • Survey experiment
  • Voting behaviour
  • European Commission - Unequal Democracies [741538]
Citation (ISO format)
WÜEST, Reto, PONTUSSON, Harry Jonas. Voter preferences as a source of descriptive (mis)representation by social class. In: European journal of political research, 2022, p. p.1–22. doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.12511
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0304-4130

Technical informations

Creation03/08/2022 4:57:00 AM
First validation03/08/2022 4:57:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 2:55:44 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:55:43 AM
Last indexation02/12/2024 12:21:18 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack