Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Ideological congruence and socio-economic inequality

  • Wouter Schakel (a1) and Armen Hakhverdian (a1)
Abstract

This study examines whether or not political representation in the Netherlands is biased toward the rich and higher educated by comparing the political orientations of members of parliament to those of the electorate. The analyses reveal stark differences in the representation of different socio-economic groups. The political views of elected national representatives are far more similar to those of rich, higher educated citizens than to those with less income and education. Moreover, a longitudinal analysis reveals that inequalities in political representation have actually grown in recent years. We also show that the use of measures of ideological self-identification might to lead to highly misleading results regarding the nature of political representation as opposed to the use of issue items. We conclude that, despite a highly proportional electoral system, the views which are represented in the Dutch lower house of parliament contain major distortions of the views of the broader electorate.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*E-mail: w.schakel@uva.nl
References
Hide All
Aaldering, L. (2017), ‘Political representation and education attainment: evidence from the Netherlands (1994-2010)’, Political Studies 65(1): 423.
Andeweg, R. (2011), ‘Approaching perfect policy congruence: measurement, development, and relevance for political representation’, in M. Rosema, B. Denters and K. Aarts (eds), How Democracy Works: Political Representation and Policy Congruence in Modern Societies, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 3952.
Andeweg, R. and Thomassen, J. (2011), ‘Pathways to party unity: sanctions, loyalty, homogeneity and division of labor in the Dutch parliament’, Party Politics 17(5): 655672.
Banducci, S., Donovan, T. and Karp, J. (2004), ‘Minority representation, empowerment, and participation’, Journal of Politics 66(2): 534556.
Bartels, L.M. (2008), Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Beaman, L., Chattopadhyay, R., Duflo, E., Pande, R. and Topalova, R. (2009), ‘Powerful women: does exposure reduce bias?’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 4(1): 14971540.
Best, H. (2007), ‘New challenges, new elites? Changes in the recruitment and career patterns of European representative elites’, Comparative Sociology 6(1): 85113.
Boräng, F. and Naurin, D. (2016), ‘Lobbying for the people? Measuring substantive representation by interest groups’. Paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, September 7–10, Prague, Czech Republic.
Bovens, M. and Wille, A.C. (2010), ‘The education gap in participation and its political consequences’, Acta Politica 45(4): 393422.
Bovens, M. and Wille, A.C. (2011), Diplomademocratie: Over de Spanning Tussen Meritocratie en Democratie, Amsterdam: Bert Bakker.
Bovens, M. and Wille, A.C. (2017), Diploma Democracy: The Rise of Political Meritocracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bratton, K.A. and Ray, L.P. (2002), ‘Descriptive representation, policy outcomes, and municipal day-care coverage in Norway’, American Journal of Political Science 46(2): 428437.
Broockman, D.E. (2013), ‘Black politicians are more intrinsically motivated to advance blacks’ interests: a field experiment manipulating political incentives’, American Journal of Political Science 57(3): 521536.
Budge, I. and McDonald, M. (2007), ‘Election and party system effects on policy representation: bringing time into a comparative perspective’, Electoral Studies 26(1): 168179.
Butler, D.M. (2014), Representing the Advantaged: How Politicians Reinforce Inequality, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Buiter, W. (2008), ‘Lessons from the North Atlantic financial crisis’. Paper presented at the conference ‘The Role of Money Markets’, jointly organised by Columbia Business School and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, May 29–30, London.
Carnes, N. (2013), White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Carnes, N. and Lupu, N. (2014), ‘Rethinking the comparative perspective on class and representation: evidence from Latin America’, American Journal of Political Science 59(1): 118.
Carnes, N. and Lupu, N. (2016), ‘What good is a college degree? Education and leader quality reconsidered’, Journal of Politics 78(1): 3549.
Chattopadhyay, R. and Duflo, E. (2004), ‘Women as policy makers: evidence from a randomized policy experiment in India’, Econometrica 72(5): 14091443.
Dahl, R.A. (1989), Democracy and its Critics, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Domhoff, G.W. (2005 [1967]), Who Rules America? Power, Politics and Social Change, 5th edn, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Ellis, C.R. and Ura, J. (2011), ‘United we divide? Education, income, and heterogeneity in mass partisan polarization’, in P. Enns and C. Wlezien (eds), Who Gets Represented?, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 6192.
Ellis, C.R. (2012), ‘Understanding economic biases in representation: income, resources and policy representation in the 110th house’, Political Research Quarterly 65(4): 938951.
Flavin, P. (2012), ‘Income inequality and policy representation in the American States’, American Politics Research 40(1): 2959.
Flyvbjerg, B. (2006), ‘Five misunderstandings about case-study research’, Qualitative Inquiry 12: 219245.
Gilens, M. (2012), Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gilens, M. (2015), ‘Descriptive representation, money, and political inequality in the United States’, Swiss Political Science Review 21(2): 222228.
Gilens, M. and Page, B.I. (2014), ‘Testing theories of American politics: elites, interest groups, and average citizens’, Perspectives on Politics 12(3): 564581.
Golder, M. and Stramski, J. (2010), ‘Ideological congruence and electoral institutions’, American Journal of Political Science 54(1): 90106.
Hakhverdian, A., Van der Brug, W. and De Vries, C. (2012), ‘The emergence of a “diploma democracy”? The political education gap in the Netherlands, 1971-2010’, Acta Politica 47(3): 229247.
Hakhverdian, A. and Mayne, Q. (2012), ‘Institutional trust, education, and corruption: a micro-macro interactive approach’, Journal of Politics 74(3): 739750.
Hakhverdian, A., Van Ditmars, M., De Lange, S.L. and Schakel, W. (2018), ‘Are lower educated citizens better represented by lower educated representatives? Evidence from Local Politics in the Netherlands’. Unpublished manuscript, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
Hakhverdian, A., Van Elsas, E., Van der Brug, W. and Kuhn, T. (2013), ‘Euroscepticism and education: a longitudinal study of 12 EU member states, 1973–2010’, European Union Politics 14(4): 522541.
Hayes, T. J. (2012), ‘Responsiveness in an era of inequality: the case of the U.S. Senate’, Political Research Quarterly 66(3): 585599.
Hollanders, D. (2015), ‘De Draaideur in de Nederlandse Politiek’. Retrieved 1 June 2017 from www.stukroodvlees.nl/ economie/de-draaideur-in-de-nederlandse-politiek.
Huber, J. and Powell, B. (1994), ‘Congruence between citizens and policymakers in two visions of liberal democracy’, World Politics 46(3): 291326.
Iversen, T. and Soskice, D. (2006), ‘Electoral institutions and the politics of coalitions: why some democracies redistribute more than others’, American Political Science Review 100(2): 165181.
Kam, C. (2001), ‘Do ideological preferences explain parliamentary behaviour? Evidence from Great Britain and Canada’, The Journal of Legislative Studies 7(4): 89126.
Karvonen, L. and Selle, P. (eds) (1995), Women in Nordic Politics: Closing the Gap, Aldershot: Dartmouth.
Lesschaeve, C. (2017), ‘The predictive power of the left-right self-placement scale for the policy positions of voters and parties’, West European Politics 40(2): 357377.
Lijphart, A. (1997), ‘Unequal participation: democracy’s unresolved dilemma’, American Political Science Review 91(1): 114.
Lijphart, A. (1999), Patterns of Democracy, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Louwerse, T., Otjes, S. and Van Vonno, C. (2018), ‘The Dutch parliamentary behaviour dataset’. Acta Politica 53(1): 149166.
Lubbers, M. and Jaspers, E. (2011), ‘A longitudinal study of Euroscepticism in the Netherlands: 2008 versus 1990’, European Union Politics 12(1): 2140.
Mansbridge, J. (1999), ‘Should blacks represent blacks and women represent women? A contingent ‘yes’’, Journal of Politics 61(3): 628657.
Mansbridge, J. (2015), ‘Should workers represent workers?’, Swiss Political Science Review 21(2): 261270.
Mill, J.S. (1861), Considerations on Representative Government, London: Parker, Son and Bourn.
Pellikaan, H., De Lange, S.L. and Van der Meer, T. (2007), ‘Fortuyn’s legacy: party system change in the Netherlands’, Comparative European Politics 5(1): 282302.
Pitkin, H.F. (1967), The Concept of Representation, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Pontusson, J. (2015), ‘Introduction to the debate: does descriptive misrepresentation by income and class matter?’, Swiss Political Science Review 21(2): 207212.
Powell, B. (2009), ‘The ideological congruence controversy: the impact of alternative measures, data, and time periods on the effects of election rules’, Comparative Political Studies 42(12): 14751497.
Schlozman, K.L., Verba, S. and Brady, H.E. (2012), The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Schmeets, H. (2007), ‘Opzet en Uitvoering van het Nationaal Kiezersonderzoek’, in K. Aarts, H. Van der Kolk and M. Rosema (eds), Een Verdeeld Electoraat: De Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 2006, Utrecht: Spectrum, pp. 259274.
Soroka, S.N. and Wlezien, C. (2008), ‘On the limits to inequality in representation’, PS: Political Science and Politics 41(2): 319327.
Tate, K. (2004), Black Faces in the Mirror: African Americans and their Representatives in the U.S. Congress, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Thomassen, J.J.A. (2012), ‘The blind corner of political representation’, Representation 48(1): 1327.
Thomassen, J.J.A., Van Ham, C. and Andeweg, R.B. (2014), De Wankele Democratie: Heeft De Democratie Haar Beste Tijd Gehad?, Amsterdam: Prometheus.
Ura, J.D. and Ellis, C.R. (2008), ‘Income, preferences, and the dynamics of policy responsiveness’, PS: Political Science and Politics 41(4): 785794.
Van de Werfhorst, H. and De Graaf, N.D. (2004), ‘The sources of political orientations in post-industrial society: social class and education revisited’, British Journal of Sociology 55(2): 211235.
Van der Brug, W. and Van Spanje, J. (2009), ‘Immigration, Europe and the ‘new’ cultural dimension’, European Journal of Political Research 48(3): 309334.
Van den Berg, J.T.J. and Van den Braak, B. (2004), ‘Kamerleden Als Passanten in de Haagse Politiek: De Maatschappelijke Herkomst van Tweede-Kamerleden 1970-2004’, in C.C. van Baalen, et al. (eds), Jaarboek Parlementaire Geschiedenis 2004, Den Haag: SDU, pp. 6981.
Van Spanje, J. (2010), ‘Contagious parties: anti-immigration parties and their impact on other parties’ immigration stances in contemporary western Europe’, Party Politics 16(5): 563586.
Van Waarden, F. (1992), ‘Emergence and development of business interest associations: an example from the Netherlands’, Organization Studies 13(4): 521561.
Whitby, K.J. (1997), The Color of Representation: Congressional Behavior and Black Interests, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Willumsen, D. and Öhlberg, P. (2017), ‘Toe the line, break the whip: explaining floor dissent in parliamentary democracies’, West European Politics 40(4): 688716.
Winters, J.A. (2011), Oligarchy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 1755-7739
  • EISSN: 1755-7747
  • URL: /core/journals/european-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Schakel and Hakhverdian supplementary material
Online Appendix

 Word (114 KB)
114 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed