A Theory of Partisan Sorting and Geographic Polarization: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

43 Pages Posted: 6 May 2014

See all articles by L. Jason Anastasopoulos

L. Jason Anastasopoulos

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); University of California, Berkeley - Center for the Study of Law and Society

Date Written: March 31, 2014

Abstract

Do partisans sort? If so, why? I address both questions in this paper by developing the Migration-Assimilation-Polarization (MAP) theory of partisan sorting which is tested using Hurricane Katrina migration to Houston, Texas as a natural experiment. According to the MAP Theory, conservative flight induced by changes in diversity provides a mechanism for partisan sorting which can at least partially account for trends in geographic polarization. Using a variety of empirical tools including synthetic controls, I demonstrate that Hurricane Katrina migration led to increases in conservative white flight and geographic polarization between Houston and surrounding counties.

Keywords: polarization, partisan sorting, geographic polarization, synthetic controls, Hurricane Katrina, race

Suggested Citation

Anastasopoulos, L. Jason, A Theory of Partisan Sorting and Geographic Polarization: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (March 31, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2433192 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2433192

L. Jason Anastasopoulos (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Center for the Study of Law and Society ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720-2150
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
69
Abstract Views
844
Rank
605,647
PlumX Metrics