Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic

16 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020

See all articles by Levi Boxell

Levi Boxell

Stanford University

Jacob Conway

Stanford University

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

We document trends in affective polarization during the coronavirus pandemic. In our main measure, affective polarization is relatively flat between July 2019 and February 2020, then falls significantly around the onset of the pandemic. Two other data sources show no evidence of an increase in polarization around the onset of the pandemic. Finally, we show in an experiment that priming respondents to think about the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization.

Suggested Citation

Boxell, Levi and Conway, Jacob and Druckman, James N. and Gentzkow, Matthew, Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic (October 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w28036, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3723273

Levi Boxell (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

Jacob Conway

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

James N. Druckman

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States
847-491-7450 (Phone)

Matthew Gentzkow

Stanford University ( email )

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