January 24, 2013

Hawley: "Home affordability, female marriage rates and vote choice in the 2000 US presidential election"

Here's a recent study in the academic journal "Party Politics" confirming my Affordable Family Formation theory of voting. I've usually worked at the state level, while this paper focuses on the county level:
Home affordability, female marriage rates and vote choice in the 2000 US presidential election: Evidence from US counties
George Hawley 
University of Houston, USA 
George Hawley, Department of Political Science, 447 Phillip Guthrie Hoffman Hall, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204, USA. 
Email: george.hawley@gmail.com 
This article tests the hypothesis that differences in the housing market can partially explain why some American counties are strongly Republican and others strongly Democratic, and that this phenomenon can be largely attributed to the relationship between home values and marriage rates within counties. Specifically, I test the hypothesis that, in the 2000 election, George W. Bush did comparatively better in counties with relatively affordable single-family homes, even when controlling for other economic, demographic and regional variables. Using county-level data, I test this hypothesis using spatial-lag regression models, and provide further evidence using individual-level survey data. My results indicate a statistically significant relationship between Bush’s percentage of the vote at the county level and the median value of owner-occupied homes, and that at least part of this is explained by the relationship between home values and marriage rates among young women.


Anonymous said...

This is true Bush could still win San Diego which he was lucky by 2004 since the housing went up a bit and by 2008 MCCain lost. Same hold true for Orange County and Riverside, Bush won Orange County and MCCain barely won Orange County since housing was probably at least at 550,000 at the time. Riverside he lost even though it was cheaper than Orange County. Take Romeny's top 10 largest county perforamance, Romeny wins Maricopia and Orange County, the OC housing is more expensive at 450,000, he barely loses Harris and loses Dallas by 6 points, and San Diego by 5, and loses La and Cook expensive housing by big numbers over 20 percent but I'm not certain if Cook is more expensive than San Diego though or Orange.

Anonymous said...

OC and San Diego are starting to have a lot of empty nester marriage couples, Romeny seem to do better with them than younger couples with kids, since Romeny did better on average with 45 and above age group. This might explain how he did better in Orange County housing very expensive compared to even Harris and Dallas, part of Harris amd Dallas is they have a lot more blacks.

Anonymous said...

One of the interesting exceptions is Bush and MCCain and Romeny winning Newport Beach. Very expensive, know as the Republican verison of Laguna Beach and usually even higher income. Its 19 percent 65 and over versus the US average of 13 percent. Empty nester families not worry about spending more on schools and high marriage rate.

Anonymous said...

I think another factor is going from rural to urban/suburban. The most expensive big county the Republicans won was Orange County. Orange County still had lots of Orange Groves in Irvine in the 1960's I saw it. By 1970 it changed. The county Romeny and MCCain won among the 10 largest the most Maricopia didn't get much population until air conditioning was developed and it started to really grow in the 1990's. It probably lasted rural the longest of the large counties. Both Harris and Dallas while cheaper than Maricopia have more Blacks and urbanized/Suburbanized earlier.

Anonymous said...

Well, reading about the small middle class in New York City explains why the Dems win there since people around 68,000 need to have the government support you to pay the rent.

Anonymous said...

Is the Democratic Party the party of the rich? Many conservative commentators think so.

Or is the Republican Party the party of the rich? Many liberal commentators think so.

The conservatives tend to rely on evidence at the state level. Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation recently wrote that "Democrats now control the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional jurisdictions. More than half of the wealthiest households are concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats control both Senate seats."

This view squares with maps drawn after the 2004 election showing a remarkable correlation between states that have above-average median household incomes and states that voted Democratic. Minnesota, of course, fits the pattern: above average household income, blue state.

The liberals, on the other hand, rely on evidence at the individual voter level. Paul Krugman, for example, in a blog posted last month cited exit polls from 2006:

Among voters earning less than $100,000 (78 percent of voters), 55 percent said they voted Democratic, 43 percent Republican. Among those earning $100,000 or more, 47 percent voted Democratic and 52 percent Republican.

," Gelman wrote. "One issue is that, in poor states, it's the rich people who are more religious, but in rich states, the rich people are less religious. Thus in Mississippi, religion and income go together, but not in Connecticut." Being more religious also correlates with voting Republican.


Joel Kramer is MinnPost.com editor and CEO.

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Comments (5)



rob said...

When a researcher tests/retests an academic's hypothesis, he cites the creator. What's the procedure when a blogger or blog commenter came up with it? Seems like the paper's authors should credit you and cite your previous research.

WMarkW said...

This is my preferred variation on The Dirt Gap -- income disparity doesn't matter in places where there's always more land to build houses on. Near the coasts, there's a finite supply of real estate that gets competitively bid. In the middle, there's always more land to build another house, so I don't care how much my neighbor makes. Would I rather live in Kentucky or New Jersey? Depends if I make $200k or $40k.

Anonymous said...

Steve is cited in the article.

Steve Sailer said...

Anybody have a copy of the entire paper besides just the abstract?

Guest007 said...



Always check the webpage for the professor on the university website. They post a link to their papers.