The political consequences of work

Project title

The political consequences of work

Project summary

The economic and political developments following the financial crisis have led to a renewed interest in the importance of employment for individuals’ political activity and attitudes. There are widespread fears that high unemployment and increasing economic inequalities will spur populist or anti-democratic attitudes and increase the differences in political participation between different groups.

These concerns notwithstanding, there are still considerable uncertainty regarding both if and how employment status affects political behavior. The aim of this project is to increase our knowledge about this important issue. More precisely, we will use Swedish register data to examine to what extent, and if so how, labor market position relates to political engagement and attitudes.

By making use of these data, which are internationally unique, this project will improve on previous research in the field in several respects. Most importantly, earlier studies have in large relied on survey data and have therefore been unable to engage in more in-depth investigations of the relationship between people’s labor market position and their political engagement. Given the nature of the data at our disposal we will be in a much better position to draw causal inference, to study how the strength of the relationship varies across groups, and to distinguish between individual and contextual effects.

Project duration


Main applicant

Karl-Oskar Lindgren


Marcus Österman

Funder: Swedish Research Council

Amount received: SEK 5,000,000

Last modified: 2021-03-09