The US’s cultural gap isn’t growing

May 14, 2019

Sections Economics Video

The United States may seem like a more divided place than ever before, but research suggests that notion may be more perception than reality. The cultural divide between different groups—rich and poor, conservative and liberal, educated and uneducated—exists, but it has been remarkably stable over the last 25 years, according to Chicago Booth’s Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica. The things we buy, watch, and spend our time on are no more reliable as indicators of membership in various groups than they were a quarter century ago, the researchers conclude—though they also find evidence that political opinions have become more polarized over that time period.