America, we are told, is a nation divided. The cartographers who draw up the maps of U.S. election results have branded a new division in American politics: Republican red versus Democratic blue. What is the source of this division? Most observers point not to the bread-and-butter economic issues of the New Deal alignment but to a "culture war." In this paper, we draw on data from three decades of survey research to see how the electorate divides along economic and moral issues. While showing that moral values are not irrelevant, the survey data roundly reject the basic claims of the culture war thesis: that voters are polarized over moral issues, and this division maps onto important demographic categories like religious affiliation; that moral issues have more salience or weight in the minds of voters than economic issues; and that this division accounts for red and blue cartography (because red-state voters are moral conservatives who vote on moral issues without regard for their economic interests or preferences.) We put issue cleavages and electoral maps into historical perspective and demonstrate that over the course of the twentieth century there has been a noteworthy political convergence between the states. Compared to the past, the political geography of the United States today is purple.
Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Persson, Torsten & Roland , Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997.
"Comparative Politics and Public Finance,"
633, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Working Papers 114, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, T. & Roland, G. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Papers 633, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Alesina, Alberto & Londregan, John, 1993. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," Scholarly Articles 4552529, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
- Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1995. "Analysis of Democratic Institutions: Structure, Conduct and Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 77-89, Winter.
- Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
- Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, Junio.
- Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
- Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
- Alberto Alesina, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-678.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Woojin Lee & John Roemer, 2005. "Values and Politics in the US: An Equilibrium Analysis of the 2004 Election," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2005-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
- Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1987.
"Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:20:y:2006:i:2:p:97-118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.