[Abstract] Are Voters Turning Left? Labor Market Dualization and Political Behaviors in Taiwan

In the era of globalization and deindustrialization, the labor market has undergone dualization, in which a growing number of nonstandard employment and rising job insecurity have split workers into insiders and outsiders. The labor market transformation has affected individual political behaviors in Western European countries. Existing research shows that job insecurity makes people less likely to turnout and more likely to vote for parties that support more social policies. However, there remains little to no research investigating the impacts of insider-outsider on other regions in the world. Has insider-outsider gap become a new social cleavage in East Asian countries? If so, how does it reshape people’s political behaviors? This study focuses on the labor market transformation and its impacts in Taiwan. Taiwan is currently experiencing growing unemployment and nonstandard workers, and the major parties have turned their focus to social justice issues. Using individual-level data collected by the Taiwanese Social Change Survey (TSCS) from 1997 to 2012, we find that unemployment risk does increase people’s demand for social policies and more pro-redistribution. However, its effects on party identification and vote choice are surprisingly different from the research hypotheses. We find that shifting preferences for social policies do not translate into voting behaviors.

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