Rich voters tend to be Republicans and poor voters tend to be Democrats. Yet, in most settings it is difficult to distinguish the effects of affluence on partisanship from those of closely related variables such as education. To address these concerns I use state lottery and administrative records to examine the effect of changing economic circumstances on the partisanship of over 1,900 registered voters. Winning larger amounts in the lottery produces a small increase in the probability an individual is later a registered Republican, an effect that is larger for those who registered to vote after winning. This suggests that wealth does affect partisanship, particularly for those without preexisting attachments to a political party. Comparing estimates from the lottery to cross-sectional data suggests the latter exaggerates the relationship between wealth and partisanship, although controlling for additional variables produces largely similar estimates.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2015
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