"School Desegregation and Political Preferences: Long-Run Evidence from Kentucky" - Cody Tuttle, Princeton University

Feb 1, 1:20 pm2:35 pm



Event Description

Cody Tuttle is a postdoctoctoral research associate in the Industrial Relation Section during the 2020-2021 academic year.


In 1974, a federal court ordered that public schools in Jefferson County, KY be desegregated. To achieve racial integration, students were assigned to a busing schedule that depended on the first letter of their last name. This led to quasi-random variation in the number of years of busing and, for the initial cohorts, whether individuals were bused at all. We use this variation to estimate the long-run impact of busing on political participation and preferences. Focusing on white males, we do not detect any effect on voter turnout. We do, however, find that busing significantly increases Democratic party affiliation more than forty years later. Consistent with the idea that attending a formerly black, city school causes a change in the broad ideological outlook of whites, we also find that bused individuals are less likely to donate to organizations that advocate for conservative causes.