Event Title

Cold Turkey: How the Political Climate Affects Family Interactions

Location

King Building 101

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 6:20 PM

Abstract

I test whether the political climate affects family behavior. To do so, I make use of the fact that U.S. presidential and midterm elections occur every four years. This occurrence allows me to test whether families shorten meals the week after Thanksgiving, presumably to avoid political disagreements stoked the week earlier. I find that family meals the week after Thanksgiving of national election years are 12% shorter than those not following such elections. Moreover, the effect is greater in rural areas, areas with higher income inequality, and amongst more educated people — three groups prone to political polarization.

Keywords:

politics, psychology, polarization, economics

Notes

Session VII, Panel 20 - Political | Psychology

Moderator: Cecilia (CeCe) Longo, Oberlin College Research Fellow in History and Politics

Major

Economics

Advisor(s)

Evan Kresch, Economics

Project Mentor(s)

John Duca, Economics

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Apr 27th, 5:00 PM Apr 27th, 6:20 PM

Cold Turkey: How the Political Climate Affects Family Interactions

King Building 101

I test whether the political climate affects family behavior. To do so, I make use of the fact that U.S. presidential and midterm elections occur every four years. This occurrence allows me to test whether families shorten meals the week after Thanksgiving, presumably to avoid political disagreements stoked the week earlier. I find that family meals the week after Thanksgiving of national election years are 12% shorter than those not following such elections. Moreover, the effect is greater in rural areas, areas with higher income inequality, and amongst more educated people — three groups prone to political polarization.