An Assessment of the Income and Education Determinants of Party Identification in the United States
Dorji, Phub W.
This thesis presents an empirical assessment of specifically, the effects of people's income and education on their identification as either Democrats or Republicans. The hypothesis is that, political choices based on an indicator of people's income levels are relatively more significant and consistent than choices based on their educational attainment. The strategy of this paper is then twofold: 1) to establish whether the relationship between the primary indicator variables and the dependent variables is statistically significant; and, 2) if significant, to determine if this relationship remains observably robust across all models for both the linear probability model and logit regression methods employed in this assessment. The analyses in this thesis is based on the United States "Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy," (CID) survey data of 2005 from the Center for Democracy and Civil Society (CDACS) at Georgetown University. The findings demonstrate that education had no significant impact on people's choices of political parties. It did however, prove that income was a significant and relatively robust indicator even though this outcome held for high-income respondents only. The analyses indicate that there is a statistically significant and positive relationship between respondents from high-income households and their likelihood to associate with the Republican Party. This finding begs the question then; do income groups make "policy-oriented" voting choices, for it reinforces the notion that at factional levels, significant and consistent income-based differences in voting choices, exist.
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