Party Hacks and True Believers: The Effect of Party Affiliation on Political Preferences

51 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2015 Last revised: 8 Feb 2017

Eric D. Gould

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Esteban F. Klor

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: February 7, 2017

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of party affiliation on an individual’s political views. To do this, we exploit the party realignment that occurred in the U.S. due to abortion becoming a more prominent and highly partisan issue over time. We show that abortion was not a highly partisan issue in 1982, but a person’s abortion views in 1982 led many to switch parties over time as the two main parties diverged in their stances on this issue. We find that voting for a given political party in 1996, due to the individual’s initial views on abortion in 1982, has a substantial effect on a person’s political, social, and economic attitudes in 1997. These findings are stronger for highly partisan political issues, and are robust to controlling for a host of personal views and characteristics in 1982 and 1997. As individuals realigned their party affiliation in accordance with their initial abortion views, their other political views followed suit.

Keywords: Partisanship; Political Preferences

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Gould, Eric D. and Klor, Esteban F., Party Hacks and True Believers: The Effect of Party Affiliation on Political Preferences (February 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2595108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2595108

Eric D. Gould

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3247 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://sites.google.com/site/edgould

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Esteban F. Klor (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3143 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/klor/klor.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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