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My Group or Myself? How Black, Latino, and White Americans Choose a Neighborhood, Job, and Candidate when Personal and Group Interest Diverge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2021

Abstract

Amid growing inequality within racial and ethnic groups, how do Americans decide where to live, where to work, and for whom to vote? While previous research has examined racial patterns in voting decisions, it provides less insight into individual-level decisions about neighborhoods, candidates, and employment—even while these decisions also organize the political world. We theorize about the role of a key variable stratifying these individual-level decisions: education. To test our argument, we analyze nationally representative survey data and a new survey experiment that varies incentives to leave one’s racial group environment. We find that among Blacks and Latinos, but not whites, those with higher levels of formal education are disproportionately likely to respond to incentives to leave their own group. We conclude with reflections on the implications of this educational divide for intra-racial inequality.

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© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association

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Footnotes

A list of permanent links to Supplemental Materials provided by the authors precedes the References section.

Data replication sets are available in Harvard Dataverse at: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/N613E0

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