Using Experiments to Estimate Racially Polarized Voting
40 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 31, 2015
“Racial polarization,” the linchpin issue in so-called vote dilution cases, has traditionally been measured using observational data and methods of ecological inference. However, strategic behavior by voters, potential candidates, and other political actors can make it difficult to infer polarization in political preferences from polarization in vote shares. We present a conjoint stated-preference experiment for investigating racial polarization and associated questions about disparate treatment of minority candidates. The design yields measures of racial polarization and disparate treatment, and can guide courts in their use of observational data.
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