PEW: Jörg Spenkuch

Date
Feb 15, 2021, 4:15 pm5:30 pm
Location
via Zoom
Event Description

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 quasi-random 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 long run 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.