A growing body of research examines the political sources of economic inequality in the United States. A second literature examines the political consequences of who votes. The current study contributes to both literatures by examining the influence of income bias in voter turnout on income inequality in the American states from 1980 to 2010. I use power resources theory and research demonstrating growing partisan polarization across income levels as theoretical foundations. Using time-series and cross-sectional analysis, I find that states with greater income bias in turnout have higher levels of income inequality than states with greater parity in voter turnout across income levels, findings that are robust across various model specifications. The implications of these findings for our understanding of economic inequality, low-income voter turnout, and state electoral laws are discussed.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 4, 2015
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