Labor Market Segmentation and Political Participation LABOREP

From September, 2018 to August, 2020

Funding institution: European Commission (MSCA-IF, project number 742991)

Principal researcher: Dani Marinova

Labor market segmentation is a defining feature of advanced industrial democracies. Workers experience different levels of labor risks and protections, with those in secure employment enjoying statutory entitlements and social benefits while the low-paid, insecurely employed, underemployed and long-term unemployed do not. During the recent economic recession, the process of labor market segmentation has hastened, reaching unprecedented levels of differentiated labor risks. Apart from the consequences of segmentation on social and economic inclusiveness and on long-term economic growth potential, segmentation has important but neglected implications for political inclusion and representation. LABOREP aims to fill this gap by examining how labor market inequalities shape political mobilization.

LABOREP traces how workers across labor divides participate in politics and how the recent economic recession and its aftermath have affected political participation across labor segments. To do so, LABOREP exploits variation in the impact of the economic recession across over 70 Barcelona neighborhoods and over the course of the economic recession in Spain (using three original datasets collected by the host), a country that represents an ideal “laboratory” for the study of segmentation.

Apart from testing a set of original theses that further our understanding of theories of participation in politics, LABOREP develops a novel methodological approach to account for labor risk differentials within the same categories of work across countries and over time. Such differentials have hindered effective cross-national research on segmentation. The approach makes a contribution to the study of labor segmentation across the disciplines of economics, sociology and political science.

The theory and method gaps along with the increasing economic relevance of segmentation suggest that LABOREP has identified a topic ripe for empirical investigation and of substantial policy relevance.

Research output

Marinova, DM. 2020. “Working Poverty, Nonstandard Employment and Political Inclusion” West European Politics.

Marinova, DM. 2020. “Electoral accountability, clarity of responsibility and labor market policy.” Electoral Studies.

Marinova, DM., and Anduiza, E. 2020. “When Bad News is Good News: Information Acquisition in Times of Economic Crisis.” Political Behavior. Vol. 42, Issue 2.

Hellwig, TH., and Marinova, DM. “Evaluating the Unequal Economy: Poverty Risk, Economic Indicators, and the Perception Gap.” Journal manuscript under review.

Marinova, DM. “Holding Governments Accountable for Pension Reform? How New Social Risk Groups Respond to Pension Reform.” Working paper.

Marinova, DM. “Can politically vibrant neighborhoods mobilize poor workers? Evidence from Barcelona.” Working paper.

Other information

Research assistant position within the LABOREP project