Individual preferences, social mobility and electoral outcomes

Nan Dirk de Graaf, Wout Ultee

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper models data for the Netherlands in the 1970s on prestige of male's occupation, occupational prestige of the father and ‘left/right’ score of the political party he prefers. One set of hypotheses holds that individuals behave according to economic self-interest, another set postulates a status motive. The former specify additive effects, the latter interaction effects. It is argued that these hypotheses have to be tested with Diagonal Mobility Models. A result of their application is that an economic diagonal model fits best. This paper also discusses macroimplications of these models for individual data. To determine macroeffects of status models, it is necessary to ascertain the total percentage of mobile persons in a society. For the macro-application of economic models, the amount of mobility necessitated by a country's opportunity structure is relevant. The latter is much smaller than the former. As an economic model was corroborated, macroeffects of social mobility on a society's political outcome are smaller than might have been suspected.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)109-132
JournalElectoral studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-61117

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