Gurjot Kaur



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This paper intends to examine the durability of culture in elections with a civil rights component by conducting a multiple regression analysis. The difference in the Democratic vote between 2008 and 2004 is regressed on a number of demographic and socioeconomic variables, as well as a cultural variable. The model attempts to demonstrate the persistence of culture in New York counties over a span of more than 150 years. County level cross-sectional data was used, obtained from the 2010 Census, the 1845 New York Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the New York State Board of Elections. The model was constructed using ordinary least squares regression, and the AICc was used to find the model most likely to align with the true model by dropping variables without explanatory power. At an alpha level of 0.10, it was determined that the percentage of the county’s population born in New England in 1845 did have a statistically significant impact on the difference in the Democratic vote, supporting the hypothesis that culture is durable and persistent over time.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Marc A. Poitras

Primary Advisor's Department

Economics and Finance


Stander Symposium project

Cultural Continuity from 1845 to the 2008 Presidential Election