A Topic for Empirical Research

Here’s an economics paper just begging to be written:

SALEM, Ore. (CNN/Money) – Less than two weeks away from Election Day, political signs on front yards are in full bloom. Lined up, they make quite an impression — suddenly, a neighborhood appears liberal, conservative or “politically diverse.”

For some homebuyers, that is reason to give houses on the block a second look, or to just keep on driving.

…Although no study has been done about whether political signs influence people’s homebuying decisions, said Nathan Kelly, an assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, it stands to reason that they would.

Are people on the right or left bothered more by signs for the opposite party? Who pays more of a premium to live near people of their own political affiliation? How large is the effect, either positive or negative? Interesting questions. Now we just need some data…