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Global Diversity Lab / Resources / Black Workers in White Places: Daytime Racial Diversity and White Public Opinion

Black Workers in White Places: Daytime Racial Diversity and White Public Opinion

Abstract: 

Research on the effects of racial context on public opinion often use residence-based measures of context, ignoring how the demographic composition of a context may change throughout the day. In this short article, we introduce a new zip code-level measure, racial flux, that accounts for how contexts differ between worker and resident populations. We merge our measure with survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and show that greater racial flux — more Black workers relative to Black residents in a zip code — is associated with more conservative voting behaviors and racial attitudes among whites who live in the zip code. Our study suggests that whites are as politically responsive to the presence of non-resident minorities as they are resident minorities. More work is needed on measuring racial context, and on exploring the contours of how and why context affects political preferences.

 

Author(s): Brian T. Hamel, Bryan Wilcox-Archuleta

Publisher: The Journal of Politics

Publication Date: June 17, 2021

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