Disenfranchisement Through Divorce? Estimating the Effect of Parental Absence on Voter Turnout
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Does growing up without both parents decrease voter turnout? I extend and improve upon earlier answers to this question. First, I estimate the long-term effects on voter turnout via analysis of a nationally representative sample of adults. Second, I exploit the quasi-natural experiment of parental death to correct for non-random selection into parental absence. Contrary to previous research, I find no evidence that growing up in an absent-parent household effects white voter turnout. I also present evidence suggesting the negative effects are limited to black voters.
KeywordsPolitical socialization Turnout Inequality
I thank Adam Berinsky, Andrea Campbell, Anthony Fowler, Jens Hainmueller, Maia Hajj, Orit Kedar, Gabriel Lenz, Krista Loose, Michele Margolis, three anonymous reviewers, and the editors for helpful comments and discussion. I am responsible for any remaining errors.
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