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Strategic Redistricting

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  • Faruk Gul
  • Wolfgang Pesendorfer

Abstract

Two parties choose redistricting plans to maximize their probability of winning a majority in the House of Representatives. In the unique equilibrium, parties maximally segregate their opponents' supporters but pool their own supporters into uniform districts. Ceteris paribus, the stronger party segregates more than the weaker one, and the election outcome is biased in the stronger party's favor and against the party whose supporters are easier to identify. We incorporate policy choice into our redistricting game and find that when one party controls redistricting, the equilibrium policy is biased towards the preferences of the redistricting party's supporters. (JEL C72, D72)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1616-41

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1616-41

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1616
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References

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  1. Tim Besley & Ian Preston, 2006. "Electoral bias and policy choice: theory and evidence," IFS Working Papers W06/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. Sherstyuk, K., 1995. "How to Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 469, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Katz, Jonathan N. & Cox, Gary W., 1997. "The Reapportionment Revolution and Bias in U.S. Congressional Elections," Working Papers 1011, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. John N. Friedman & Richard T. Holden, 2008. "Optimal Gerrymandering: Sometimes Pack, but Never Crack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 113-44, March.
  6. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2005. "Socially Optimal Districting," NBER Working Papers 11462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1999. " Structural Constraints on Partisan Bias under the Efficient Gerrymander," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 65-84, July.
  8. Thomas Gilligan & John Matsusaka, 2006. "Public choice principles of redistricting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 381-398, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Janne Tukiainen & Tuukka Saarimaa & Hyytinen & Ari, 2013. "Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Working Papers 38, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  2. Kóczy Á., László & Biró, Péter & Sziklai, Balázs, 2012. "Választókörzetek igazságosan?
    [Fair apportionment of voting districts in Hungary]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1165-1186.
  3. Puppe, Clemens & Tasnádi, Attila, 2014. "Axiomatic districting," Corvinus Economics Working Papers (CEWP) 2014/01, Corvinus University of Budapest.
  4. Francesco De Sinopoli & Leo Ferraris & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2008. "Electing a Parliament," Working Papers 150, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.
  5. Justin Svec & James Hamilton, 2013. "Endogenous Voting Weights for Elected Representatives and Redistricting," Working Papers 1307, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  6. Bracco, Emanuele, 2013. "Optimal districting with endogenous party platforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 1-13.
  7. Puppe, Clemens & Tasnádi, Attila, 2009. "Optimal redistricting under geographical constraints: Why "pack and crack" does not work," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 93-96, October.

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