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Why did the democrats lose the south? Bringing new data to an old debate

Author(s): Kuziemko, Ilyana; Washington, E

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Abstract: © 2018 American Economic Association. All rights reserved. A long-standing debate in political economy is whether voters are driven primarily by economic self-interest or by less pecuniary motives like ethnocentrism. Using newly available data, we reexamine one of the largest partisan shifts in a modern democracy: Southern whites' exodus from the Democratic Party. We show that defection among racially conservative whites explains the entire decline from 1958 to 1980. Racial attitudes also predict whites' earlier partisan shifts. Relative to recent work, we find a much larger role for racial views and essentially no role for income growth or (non-race-related) policy preferences in explaining why Democrats "lost" the South.
Publication Date: Oct-2018
Citation: Kuziemko, I, Washington, E. (2018). Why did the democrats lose the south? Bringing new data to an old debate. American Economic Review, 108 (10), 2830 - 2867. doi:10.1257/aer.20161413
DOI: doi:10.1257/aer.20161413
ISSN: 0002-8282
Pages: 2830 - 2867
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: American Economic Review
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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