The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 441–468 | Cite as

Inadvertent and intentional partisan residential sorting

  • James G. GimpelEmail author
  • Iris Hui
Original Paper


We present evidence for two mechanisms that can explain increasing geographic divide of partisan preferences. The first is “inadvertent sorting,” where people express a preference for residential environments with features that just happen to be correlated with partisanship. The second is “intentional sorting,” where people do consider partisanship directly. We argue that the accumulating political biases visible in many neighborhoods can be the effect of some mixture of these two mechanisms. Because residential relocation often involves practical constraints and neighborhood racial composition is more important than partisanship, there is less partisan segregation across the USA than there could be based on residential preference alone.

JEL Classification

R120 J600 R310 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Bill Lane Center for the American WestStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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