NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Family Income and the Intergenerational Transmission of Voting Behavior: Evidence from an Income Intervention

Randall Akee, William Copeland, E. Jane Costello, John B. Holbein, Emilia Simeonova

NBER Working Paper No. 24770
Issued in June 2018
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Labor Studies Program, Public Economics Program, Political Economy Program

Despite clear evidence of an income gradient in political participation, research has not been able to isolate the effects of income on voting from other household characteristics. We investigate how exogenous unconditional cash transfers affected voting in US elections across two generations from the same household. The results confirm that there is strong inter-generational correlation in voting across parents and their children. We also show—consistent with theory—that household receipt of unconditional cash transfers has heterogeneous effects on the civic participation of children coming from different socio-economic backgrounds. It increases children’s voting propensity in adulthood among those raised in initially poorer families. However, income transfers have no effect on parents, regardless of initial income levels. These results suggest that family circumstance during childhood—income in particular—plays a role in influencing levels of political participation in the United States. Further, in the absence of outside shocks, income differences are transmitted across generations and likely contribute to the intergenerational transmission of social and political inequality.

download in pdf format
   (499 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24770

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us