Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 15 > Issue 2

Parents, Peers, and Politics: The Long-term Effects of Vertical Social Ties

Linuz Aggeborn, Uppsala University, Sweden, linuz.aggeborn@statsvet.uu.se , Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University, USA, nazita@msu.edu , Karl-Oskar Lindgren, Uppsala University, Sweden, Karl-Oskar.Lindgren@statsvet.uu.se , Pär Nyman, Uppsala University, Sweden, par.nyman@statsvet.uu.se , Sven Oskarsson, Uppsala University, Sweden, Sven.Oskarsson@statsvet.uu.se
Suggested Citation
Linuz Aggeborn, Nazita Lajevardi, Karl-Oskar Lindgren, Pär Nyman and Sven Oskarsson (2020), "Parents, Peers, and Politics: The Long-term Effects of Vertical Social Ties", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 15: No. 2, pp 221-253. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00019057

Publication Date: 09 Apr 2020
© 2020 L. Aggeborn, N. Lajevardi, K-O. Lindgren, P. Nyman and S. Oskarsson
Political participation,  Political networks
Political participationvertical tiesSweden


Open Access

This is published under the terms of CC-BY.

In this article:
Why Should Vertical Ties Increase Political Activity? 
Empirical Framework 
Data and Descriptives 
Baseline Results 
Can the Results be Trusted? 
What Drives the Results? 
Who is Mobilized? 


We examine how one's adult political participation is affected by having social ties to a politician during adolescence. Specifically, we estimate the long-term effect of having had a classmate during upper secondary school whose parent was running for office on future voter turnout and the likelihood of running for and winning political office. We use unique Swedish population-wide administrative data and find that students in school classes with a larger number of politically active parents are more politically active as adults, both in terms of voting and political candidacy. Our results suggest that the effect of vertical social ties is predominantly mediated by indirect links between the politician and the student via the children of politicians. Moreover, we show that the strength of these mobilizing effects depends on the individual's basic predisposition to engage in different types of political activities.