Untangling the Causes of Sorting

in The Partisan Sort

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226473642
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226473673 | DOI:
Untangling the Causes of Sorting

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Drawing on data from original randomized experiments, this chapter investigates the causal linkage between elite polarization and mass sorting. It examines cause-and-effect relationships by looking at the rise of stem cell research. In 2005, demographics, particularly religion, was a major explanatory factor underlying support for stem cell research. Today, party plays a crucial role. Democrats and Republicans differed in their support for stem cell research by 8 percent in 2001 and by 26 percent in 2005 as the two sides sorted themselves out. The experiment addressed five issues: whether the Army Corps of Engineers should add more external review of the environmental impact of a project prior to construction; whether air traffic controllers should be employed by the federal government or the private sector; whether the government should allow deregulation of the electricity market; whether the government should maintain the ban on coastal drilling for oil and natural gas; whether the federal or state governments should maintain primary control over job-training programs.

Keywords: elite polarization; sorting; Democrats; Republicans; stem cell research; Army Corps of Engineers; environmental impact; air traffic controllers; coastal drilling; electricity market

Chapter.  4497 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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