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Trust we lost: the impact of the Treuhand experience on political alienation in East Germany

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Authors and Corporations: Kellermann, Kim Leonie (Author)
Edition: This version: October 2022
Type of Resource: E-Book
Language: English
published:
Berlin, Germany German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), DIW Berlin [2022]
Series: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung: SOEP papers on multidisciplinary panel data research ; 1175 (2022)
Subjects:
Source: Verbunddaten SWB
Lizenzfreie Online-Ressourcen
Description
Summary: Do politically administered mass layoffs undermine trust and political interest? During the German reunification, formerly state-owned socialist firms in East Germany were privatized by the Treuhand, which came at the cost of massive job losses and public protest. I demonstrate that these activities had a detrimental effect on attitudes and political behavior of the affected individuals. Using survey data from the German Socio-economic Panel and election results, I find that East Germans who lost their jobs exhibit significantly lower trust levels, lower political interest and a lower identification with mainstream democratic parties, even up to 30 years after reunification. I corroborate the causality of the results using fixed-effects estimations and a placebo analysis, which fails to explain political disenchantment by reasons other than the Treuhand experience. I interpret the findings as the persistent, negative effect of perceived political mismanagement during a crucial phase of economic transition on long-run political identification.
Physical Description: 1 Online-Ressource (circa 65 Seiten); Illustrationen