Decomposing U.S. Political Ideology: Local Labor Market Polarization and Race in the 2016 Presidential Election

42 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020

See all articles by Maoyong Fan

Maoyong Fan

Ball State University - Department of Economics

Anita Alves Pena

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University

Date Written: April 17, 2020

Abstract

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign highlighted protectionism of U.S.-born workers at a time of growing income inequality, racial tensions, and labor market polarization. Our study investigates if and how voters' life circumstances affected election behavior between 2012 and 2016, and how voter behavior relates to compositional versus structural change of communities. We relate changes in the Republican vote share between 2012 and 2016 to demographic and economic characteristics of U.S. counties and to rates of return (in terms of vote share) to these characteristics. We find that structural change in how local-level community attributes (most especially race) affect elections played a greater role between 2012 and 2016 than did differences in these community characteristics themselves. We find this more pronounced in battleground states, and in the presidential race as opposed to congressional ones.

Keywords: Presidential Election; Local Labor Markets; Race; Structural Change

JEL Classification: D70, D72, E24, R23

Suggested Citation

Fan, Maoyong and Alves Pena, Anita, Decomposing U.S. Political Ideology: Local Labor Market Polarization and Race in the 2016 Presidential Election (April 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3578611 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3578611

Maoyong Fan (Contact Author)

Ball State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Whitinger Business Building, room 201
2000 W. University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States
765-285-5741 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/maoyongfan/home

Anita Alves Pena

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University

Department of Economics
Fort Collins, CO 80253-1771
United States

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
7
Abstract Views
134
PlumX Metrics