Darrah’s research relates to housing policy, land-use policy, and political participation with focus on the impacts of voter identification requirements. She has studied how local communities in Hawaiʻi use laws and regulations to manage urbanization and preserve natural and cultural resources. She also studies housing policy and residential mobility to understand how policy can mitigate racial segregation and neighborhood disparities. New research explores policy responses to homelessness in Hawaiʻi. Finally, she studies political participation and the impacts of policies such as voter ID requirements with focus on impacts to racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants.
Finds that policies prohibiting sitting, lying, sleeping, and storing property in public places harm homeless households by: creating feelings of dehumanization, confiscation of property, and creating increased anxiety and fear.
Finds that U.S. states that require voters to present identification before casting ballots have lower levels of political participation. Also shows that voter I.D. policies discourage legal immigrants from becoming citizens, particularly for blacks and Hispanics, reducing odds of naturalization by over 15 percent.
Reveals how local communities as well as advocates for natural resources and native Hawaiian rights leverage land-use regulations in Hawai‘i to contest luxury residential development.
Presents findings from three focus groups conducted in communities north of Boston that have been the subject of two different environmental health studies.
Shows that the effect of the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States is diminished by several factors, and it is a challenge for public policy to reduce the lag between population growth and political representation.
Uses microdata from Census 2000 in conjunction with other measures to examine aspects of the community and policy context that influence the choices made by individuals. The results confirm previous research on the effects of individual-level characteristics on attaining citizenship.
Uses national survey data in federal election years during 1996-2004 to examine voter registration and voting. Shows that racial/ethnic disparities in socio-economic resources and rootedness in the community do not explain overall group differences in electoral participation.
Uses data from fieldwork with 110 participants in the Baltimore Mobility Program to demonstrate how residential preferences can shift over time as a function of living in higher opportunity neighborhoods.