Red House, Blue House:American Migration and Political Self-Selection Open Access
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In the last several years, there has been an increased interest in political migration - the tendency of migrants' partisanship to be related to the partisanship of those living intheir new area. However, it still remains an open question as to whether this phenomena is occurring and, if it is occurring, what is causing it. In the first essay, I use data from New York's voter registration file to determine that several types of political migrationare occurring at different geographic levels. I find that partisans presented with essentially the same choices will tend to move to areas where more people share their partisanship than those of the opposite partisan persuasion making the same decision. In the second essay, I use data from a survey experiment to show that Americans' migratory decisions are influenced by cues about the partisanship of neighborhoods. Partisans are more likely to move to areas they perceive as sharing their partisanship and tend to avoid areas where other's partisanship is dissimilar. However, in the third essay I use data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study to show that people often have inaccurate perceptions of different area's partisanship. Although very accurate in aggregate, the innumeracy that individuals display calls into question whether partisanship directly influences migratory decisions in the real world.