Smart Growth at the Ballot Box: Understanding Voting on Affordable Housing and Land Management Referendums
Date of Original Version
This study investigates voter decision-making on two smart-growth components: land preservation and affordable housing. We seek to understand how voters make concurrent decisions about unpaired smart-growth components at the ballot box. Previous studies of smart growth, affordable housing, and environmental preservation have focused primarily on describing the attitudes and traits of voters on these policies, utilize aggregate voting outcomes, or are case studies of single towns in which there is a fairly homogenous group of residents either supporting or opposing the policy. We draw on a unique data set to investigate the different covariates of attitudes for environmental preservation and affordable housing: an exit poll of voters in the 2016 Rhode Island General Election on bond referendums for environmental preservation and affordable housing. We find that the coalition for smart growth that includes both land preservation and affordable housing is undermined by views of minorities and the poor as undeserving.
Pearson-Merkowitz, S., & Lang, C. (2019). Smart Growth at the Ballot Box: Understanding Voting on Affordable Housing and Land Management Referendums. Urban Affairs Review,
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087419861430
Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz is from the Department of Political Science.
Corey Lang is from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.
This is a pre-publication author manuscript of the final, published article.
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