Parental Unemployment and Young People’s Right-Wing Extremism: evidence from Germany

Publication type

Conference Paper


International German Socio-Economic Panel User Conference


Publication date

July 4, 2006


Recent years have witnessed a rise in right-wing extremism among German youth and young adults. This paper investigates to which extent the experience of parental unemployment during childhood affects young people's far right-wing behaviour and xenophobia. Estimates from three different German data sets and multiple identification strategies suggest that young adults who grow up with unemployed parents are more susceptible to right-wing extremism, to xenophobia in particular. This is consistent with classical theories of economic interest and voting behaviour, predicting that persons who develop feelings of economic insecurity have a higher risk to be receptive to right-wing extremism and are more likely to show anti-foreign sentiments.

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