Working Paper

“Sort Selling”: Political Polarization and Residential Choice

Abstract: Partisanship and political polarization are salient features of today’s society. We merge deeds records with voter rolls and show that political polarization is more than just “political cheerleading.” Descriptively, homeowners are more likely to sell their homes and move when their next-door neighbors are affiliated with the opposite political party. We use a novel, new-next door neighbor identification strategy along with rich demographic control variables and time by-geography fixed effects to confirm causality. Consistent with a partisanship mechanism, our results are strongest when new next-door neighbors (i) are more likely to be partisan and (ii) live especially close by. Our findings help explain increases in political segregation, improve our understanding of residential choice, and illustrate the importance of political polarization for economic decision-making.

Keywords: Political Polarization; Residential Choice;

JEL Classification: D10; H31; R20;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2021-03-02

Number: 21-14