Friday, June 8, 2012

The Right and the Poor

Andrew Gelman sets out to debunk a myth about the US electorate but in the process demonstrates that France is an anomaly. The myth is that blue-collar workers vote for the right in the US, and Gelman claims that this is false. Of course his evidence compares voters in the upper third of the income distribution with those in the lower third, which is not necessarily identical with blue-collar. But what interests me is not whether Gelman is right or wrong but rather the place of France in the middle graph below:

As you can see, France is an outlier, a country with high GDP per capita in which the poorest third of the population is more likely to vote for the Right than for the Left. I wish I knew the source of the data on which these graphs are based.

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