History will eventually figure out the social implications of the foreclosure crisis — its longterm effect on the wealth gap between minorities and white people, its role in gentrification, its impact on an already shrinking middle class, whether it permanently alters the popular conception of the American Dream, etc.
Some early returns are in. A study by social scientists at UC Riverside concluded that neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates tend to have lower voter turnout.
“Foreclosure Depresses Voter Turnout: Neighborhood Disruption and the 2008 Presidential Election in California,” authored by sociologist Vanesa Estrada-Correa and political scientist Martin Johnson and published in Social Science Quarterly, offered two factors that explain how foreclosures drive down civic participation: community instability and the anxiety over paying the mortgage on a house with a free-falling market value.
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