Home Value Declines and Voter Participation
49 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2017 Last revised: 14 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 13, 2019
I create a novel person-level panel dataset to examine the effect of house price declines on voter participation. Using variation in house price falls during the recession, I find that a ten percent decline in home value decreased the average voter’s participation rate by two percent. Furthermore, I find no effect of house price declines on renters and, consistent with a financial distress channel, a particularly severe effect of house price declines on homeowners with little equity in their homes. My results show that the political process is affected by the financial health of the electorate.
Keywords: Household Finance, Financial Distress, Mortgages, Voter Participation, Elections
JEL Classification: D10, D72, H31, R20
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