Ethan Kaplan (Program on Political Economy Seminar)


Thursday, April 22, 2021, 4:30pm to 5:45pm


Online via Zoom

"School Desegregation and Political Preferences: Long-Run Evidence from Kentucky" (with Jörg L. Spenkuch and Cody Tuttle)


In 1974, a federal court ordered that public schools in Jefferson County, KY be desegregated. To achieve racial integration, students were assigned to a busing schedule that depended on the first letter of their last name. This led to quasirandom variation in the number of years of busing and, for the initial cohorts, whether individuals were bused at all. We use this variation to estimate the longrun impact of busing on political participation and preferences. Focusing on white males, we do not detect any effect on voter turnout. We do, however, find that busing significantly increases Democratic party affiliation more than forty years later. Consistent with the idea that attending a formerly black, city school causes a change in the broad ideological outlook of whites, we also find that bused individuals are less likely to donate to organizations that advocate for conservative causes.

Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Program on Political Economy (PE) supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies.

Zoom links for Political Economy Seminar are distributed via the seminar's mailing list. You can subscribe to the PE Mailing List here.

See the seminar's full schedule at the Program on Political Economy page.

All interested faculty and students are invited to attend.

ethan-kaplan_busing_partisanship_2.pdf908 KB