Die Angst der Mittelschicht vor dem sozialen Abstieg revisited: eine Längsschnittanalyse 1984-2014

SOEPpapers 862, 30 S.

Holger Lengfeld, Jessica Ordemann


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Many studies have shown that in recent years, the fear of falling has increased in the German middle class. In this paper, it will be investigated how these worries have developed over an extended period of 30 years. A longitudinal analysis will be carried out using data gathered from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) between the years 1984 and 2014. We analyse fears of job loss indicating the fear of falling from a maximum of 49,102 people in work (comprising 286,049 observations). The descriptive trend analyses and random effects regressions reveal that from the beginning of the observation period up to the year 2005, the fear of job loss had risen in all social classes, but was at its strongest for the central middle class. For the period between 2006 and 2014, however, the fear of falling reduced significantly in all classes. Despite the European economic crisis in 2009, the level of fears in almost all classes at the end of the observation period in 2014 was at the same low-point as in 1991. During this period the level of fear reduced at its greatest rate in the central middle class in comparison to all other classes.correlation.

Keywords: Abstiegsangst, EGP-Klassenschema, Längsschnittanalyse, Mittelschicht, Statusverunsicherung
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