Thursday, February 14, 2008

Andrew Gelman on Steve Sailer's Dirt-Gap   posted by Razib @ 2/14/2008 09:09:00 PM

Red states, blue states, and affordable family formation is a commentary on new article by Steve about his Affordable Family Formation theory. I don't have much to add, except a note on this:
To get back to the main point, Sailer is making a geographic argument, that Democrats do better in coastal states because families are less likely to live in coastal metropolitan areas, because housing there is so expensive, because of the geography: less nearby land for suburbs. This makes a lot of sense, although it doesn't really explain why the people without kids want to vote for Democrats and people with kids want to vote for Republicans. I can see that more culturally conservative people are voting Republican, and these people are more likely to marry and have kids at younger ages--but in that sense the key driving variable is the conservatism, not the marriage or the kids.

I think that Steve's response would be that a family and kids tend to make you more inclined toward social conservatism. Specifically, full-throated principled defenses of lifestyle libertarianism are less attractive to people who aren't going to be indulging in that in any case because of the constraints of family life.