How financial hardship affects voter turnout

Many studies have shown that poverty hampers political participation. For the first time, Max Schaub has examined the influence of acute financial hardship on political participation—situations, often lasting only a few days, in which money is so tight that it no longer covers the bare necessities. These situations are experienced primarily by people living below the poverty line. In Germany, that includes about 16 percent of the population—the unemployed, retired persons with small pensions, and single parents—social groups whose monthly budget is often spent down to the last euro. Unexpected circumstances will immediately plunge them into financial difficulties.

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