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Homeownership and voter turnout in u.s. local elections

Boqian Jiang ()

Journal of Housing Economics, 2018, vol. 41, issue C, 168-183

Abstract: This paper provides evidence that economic self-interest associated with homeownership affects voter turnout in local elections in the United States. Compared to renters, homeowners are financially invested in their communities and are less mobile. Therefore, homeowners should care more about local policies and have incentives to engage actively in local politics. The disparity in political participation between homeowners and renters, however, should diminish in presidential elections for which policy discussions are more targeted at the national-level. These hypotheses are tested using census block group-level election panel data. Fixed effects models and a control function approach are used to identify the effect of homeownership on voter turnout in off-year mayoral elections relative to presidential elections. Results show that mayoral election voter turnout increases with the local homeownership rate. This suggests that local policies may tend to cater to the tastes of homeowners over renters.

Keywords: Homeownership; Voter turnout; Local election (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R2 R3 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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