Working Papers

Divisive Jobs: Three Facets of Risk, Precarity and Redistribution


Most political economy models identify individuals’ labour market position as central to their redistribution preferences. Yet, this paper reveals they rarely agree on which groups are economically vulnerable. Recognizing that there is a risk-precarity overlap and a measurement issue in insurance models, I show great discrepancies among occupational risk measures, heterogeneity in occupational risk and variance over time. I propose that three facets of risk – perceived job security, job tenure and contract type – are associated with three facets of vulnerability – unemployment, precarious and secure work. These, in turn, determine which one of three optimal spending levels a voter demands. Using evidence from Swiss panel data and accounting for unobserved individual heterogeneity, the proposed vulnerability measure is proved robust to various specifications. This finding contributes to dominant political economy models of redistribution – dualization and insurance models. The implications for coalition formation and the role of occupations are discussed.

Work In Progress

An Endogenous Human Capital Theory of a Conservative Vote

Winning Tactics: Cues of Intra-Party Competition and Vote Choice  (with Stavros Poupakis)

Insuring Against Hunger?  Long-Term Political Consequences of Exposure to the Dutch Famine (with Gerda Hooijer and David Rueda)

The Democrat Disaster: Natural Hazard Exposure, Risk Aversion and Insurance Demand