Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021 Last revised: 21 Jul 2021

See all articles by Levi Boxell

Levi Boxell

Stanford University

Jacob Conway

Stanford University

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 18, 2021

Abstract

We document trends in affective polarization during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our main measure, affective polarization is relatively flat between July 2019 and February 2020, then falls significantly around the onset of the pandemic. Three of five other data sources display a similar downward trend, with two of five data sources showing no significant change. A survey experiment shows that priming respondents to think about the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization.

Keywords: partisanship, political polarization, coronavirus, public opinion, group attitudes

JEL Classification: D72, P16

Suggested Citation

Boxell, Levi and Conway, Jacob and Druckman, James N. and Gentzkow, Matthew, Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic (July 18, 2021). Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3785328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3785328

Levi Boxell

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

Jacob Conway (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States
847-491-7450 (Phone)

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University ( email )

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