Socioeconomic Determinants of Extremist Election Successes in Germany: The Example of the European Elections in 1994 and 1999

64 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2001

See all articles by Martin Steininger

Martin Steininger

Munich University of Technology (TU München) - Department of Business and Economics; BulwienGesa AG

Ralph Rotte

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Political Science; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: December 2000

Abstract

Empirical research on the determinants of right and left-wing extremist election successes is still dominated by descriptive statistical methods. The existing literature in political economy and political science mainly relies on interviews and survey results as well as on qualitative analyses of party organizations and programs. Contrary to this approach, in this study we try to identify significant, structural socio-economic factors which determined the vote for the right-wing "Republikaner" party and the left-wing Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) in the two recent elections of the European Parliament in Germany. We use a new data set on the level of German counties (Kreise) that is analyzed econometrically by a FGLS random effects panel model. The results we obtain are partly in stark contrast to empirical findings discussed in the mainstream literature and in the public. The resulting, most important areas of political action against extremist parties seem to be education, a differentiated labor market policy, social work with adolescents, and the maintenance of a generous system of social security and welfare.

Keywords: Elections, Political Extremism, Labor Market Policy, Welfare Policy

JEL Classification: D60, D72, I28, J60, P16

Suggested Citation

Steininger, Martin and Rotte, Ralph, Socioeconomic Determinants of Extremist Election Successes in Germany: The Example of the European Elections in 1994 and 1999 (December 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=264800

Martin Steininger (Contact Author)

Munich University of Technology (TU München) - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
D-80333 Munchen
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl.wi.tum.de

BulwienGesa AG ( email )

Nymphenburger Straße 5
D-80335 München
Germany
+49-89-23237636 (Phone)
+49-89-23237676 (Fax)

Ralph Rotte

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Political Science ( email )

Ahornsr. 55
D-52074 Aachen
Germany
+49 241 80 248 24 (Phone)
+49 241 80 221 62 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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