Direkt zum Inhalt

13. Dezember 2023

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

Economic Mobility Perceptions and Populist Support


13. Dezember 2023


Karl Popper Room
DIW Berlin
Room 2.3.020
Mohrenstr. 58
10117 Berlin


Lorenz Meister

This research investigates the relationship between perceived economic mobility and populist support, focusing on the US and Germany. Amidst an escalating wave of populism that challenges democratic institutions in the West, it explores whether low upward mobility fuels the perception of exclusion in a system that favors a select 'establishment’. To test a causal relationship, a survey experiment with an information treatment on economic mobility is conducted among representative samples of about 6,000 residents in the US and Germany, thus allowing for a comparative analysis. Additionally, this study tests several mechanisms – locus of control, trust in media, social envy, and the emotion of fear. Through this, it aims to dissect the socio-economic and psychological drivers of populism and thereby offers insights into democratic stability and social cohesion.