Partisan Residential Sorting on Climate Change Risk

71 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2020 Last revised: 26 Oct 2021

See all articles by Asaf Bernstein

Asaf Bernstein

University of Colorado at Boulder; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephen B. Billings

University of Colorado - Boulder

Matthew Gustafson

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business

Ryan Lewis

University of Colorado, Boulder

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2021

Abstract

Is climate change partisanship reflected in residential decisions? Comparing individual properties in the same zip code with similar elevation and proximity to the coast, houses exposed to sea level rise (SLR) are increasingly more likely to be owned by Republicans and less likely to be owned by Democrats. We find a partisan residency gap for even moderately SLR exposed properties of more than 5 percentage points, which has more than doubled over the past six years. Findings are unchanged controlling flexibly for other individual demographics and a variety of granular property characteristics, including the value of the home. Residential sorting manifests among owners regardless of occupancy, but not among renters, and is driven by long-run SLR exposure but not current flood risk. Anticipatory sorting on climate change suggests that households that are most likely to vote against climate friendly policies and least likely to adapt may ultimately bear the burden of climate change.

Keywords: residential sorting, climate change, sea level rise, real estate, politics

JEL Classification: D10, D72, G1, G5, Q5, Q54, R2, R21, R23, R31

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, Asaf and Billings, Stephen B. and Gustafson, Matthew and Lewis, Ryan, Partisan Residential Sorting on Climate Change Risk (October 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3712665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3712665

Asaf Bernstein (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

Campus Box 419
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stephen B. Billings

University of Colorado - Boulder ( email )

Leeds School of Business
Koelbel Building
Boulder, CO US 80309
United States

Matthew Gustafson

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business ( email )

East Park Avenue
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Ryan Lewis

University of Colorado, Boulder ( email )

Boulder, CO 80309-0419
United States

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