Get access

THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE SECTOR CLEAVAGE REVISITED: THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT ON POLITICAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR IN 11 WEST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

Authors

  • MARKUS TEPE

    1. Markus Tepe is a Junior Professor for Positive Political Theory/Political Economy at the University of Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This study explores a refined model of public/private sector cleavage voting. Assuming that market and work experiences are crucial for people to develop common political views, it investigates three contexts that shape government employees' willingness to vote as a single constituency: the branch of public sector production, the occupational status, and the type of service economy. Estimation results obtained from regressions on European Social Survey (ESS) data indicate that government employees in public health, education and service production rather than public administration utilize sector cleavage voting. Regardless of their actual occupational status, public health and education employees show persistently stronger attitudes in favour of expanding state responsibility. With respect to party choice, stronger signs of alignment along the sector cleavage are observed in Social Democratic service economies. In sum, the public/private sector cleavage continues to matter in a more complex way than a simple sector dichotomy would suggest.

Ancillary