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Districts, Diversity, and Fiscal Biases: Evidence from the American States

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  • Crain, W Mark

Abstract

This paper argues that the configuration of legislative districts and not merely the number of districts matters for fiscal performance. District configuration mediates the extent of constituent diversity both across and within districts. Both dimensions of diversity affect the political calculus associated with pork barrel politics. Empirical findings for the American states reveal statistically and quantitatively significant effects of constituent diversity on state government spending. Together the analysis and evidence emphasize the conditional nature of the "Law of 1/n." In the United States, this point acquires practical relevance from the Constitutional mandate for decennial redistricting in all jurisdictions based on geographic representation. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 675-98

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:2:p:675-98

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Knight, Brian, 2004. "Parochial interests and the centralized provision of local public goods: evidence from congressional voting on transportation projects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 845-866, March.
  2. Jordahl, Henrik & Liang, Che-Yuan, 2006. "Merged Municipalities, Higher Debt: On Free-riding and the Common Pool Problem in Politics," Ratio Working Papers 107, The Ratio Institute.
  3. Edward J. Lopez & R. Todd Jewell, 2005. "Strategic Institutional Choice: Voters, States, and Congressional Term Limits," Public Economics 0512006, EconWPA.
  4. Alison F. DelRossi & Robert P. Inman, 1998. "Changing the Price of Pork: The Impact of Local Cost Sharing on Legislators' Demand for Distributive Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 6440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.

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