The DSI Distinguished Speaker Series will highlight expert researchers who are applying data, machine learning, and computational systems to a broader scientific discipline.

Guest Speaker

Ryan Enos, Professor of Government and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), Harvard University


April 12, 2021 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET) – Online Event

Hosted By

DSI Postdoctoral Researchers

About the Seminar

The Measurement of Partisan Sorting for 180 Million Voters

Abstract: Segregation across social groups is an enduring feature of nearly all human societies and is associated with numerous social maladies. In many countries, reports of growing geographic political polarization raise concerns about the stability of democratic governance. Here, using advances in spatial data computation, we measure individual partisan segregation by calculating the local residential segregation of every registered voter in the United States, creating a spatially weighted measure for more than 180 million individuals. With these data, we present evidence of extensive partisan segregation in the country. A large proportion of voters live with virtually no exposure to voters from the other party in their residential environment. Such high levels of partisan isolation can be found across a range of places and densities and are distinct from racial and ethnic segregation. Moreover, Democrats and Republicans living in the same city, or even the same neighbourhood, are segregated by party. We also demonstrate that the sorting has increased over time across geographic levels.

Read about this work in The New York Times

Bio: Ryan D. Enos is a Professor of Government and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science specializing in American Politics, Political Psychology, and Race and Ethnic Politics. He studies political behavior and intergroup attitudes through laboratory and field experiments and other methods. He directs the Working Group in Political Psychology, an interdisciplinary forum for research on the microfoundations of citizen and elite behavior, and the Harvard Digital Lab for the Social Sciences. His research has been published in the American Political Science Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Journal of Political Science, in addition to other outlets, and has been covered in major media outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. He earned his AB in political science and history from U.C. Berkeley and his MA and PhD in political science from UCLA. Before entering academia, he was a teacher at Paul Robeson High School in Chicago, IL.