Education, Party Polarization and the Origins of the Gender Gap in U.S. Party Identification

61 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013

See all articles by Daniel Q. Gillion

Daniel Q. Gillion

University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan McDonald Ladd

Georgetown University - Department of Government

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The partisan gender gap - the tendency of men to identify more with the Republican party and less with the Democratic party than women - is a fixture of modern American politics. A variety of often contradictory claims are made about why this partisan gender gap formed and persists. We test a number of these claims in a new dataset of individual-level responses to 1822 Gallup polls asking about gender and party identification from 1953 through 2012. We find that a gender gap emerged in the 1960s and 1970s among the highly educated, but not until the 1980s among the less educated. These differences in the partisan gender gap with respect to education do not appear to be driven primary by differences in the race, age, region of residence, income, employment status, or marital status of those with more and less amounts of education. Using ANES data, we find suggestive evidence that the gender gap emerged earlier among those with high amounts of education because the highly educated were more aware of the growing ideological polarization of the parties.

Suggested Citation

Gillion, Daniel Q. and Ladd, Jonathan McDonald and Meredith, Marc, Education, Party Polarization and the Origins of the Gender Gap in U.S. Party Identification (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2301103

Daniel Q. Gillion

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

208 South 37th Street
227 Stiteler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-6187 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dgillion

Jonathan McDonald Ladd

Georgetown University - Department of Government ( email )

ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
202-687-7112 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://government.georgetown.edu/jml89

Marc Meredith (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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