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Gerrymandering Roll-Calls: Votes, Decisions, and Partisan bias in Congress, 1879-2000

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Author Info

  • Cox, Gary.
  • Katz, Jonathan N.

Abstract

We argue that the standard toolbox used in electoral studies to assess the bias and responsiveness of electoral systems can also be used to access the bias and responsiveness of legislative systems. We consider which items in the toolbox are the most appropriate for use in the legislative setting, then apply them to estimate levels of bias in the U.S. House from 1879 to 2000. Our results indicate a systematic bias in favor of the majority party over this period, with the strongest bias arising during the period of "Czar rule" (51st-60th Congresses, 1889-1910) and during the post-packing era (87th-106th Congresses, 1961-2000). This finding is consistent with the majority party possessing a significant advantage in setting the agenda.

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File URL: http://www.hss.caltech.edu/SSPapers/wp1158.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1158.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1158

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
Phone: 626 395-4065
Fax: 626 405-9841
Email:
Web page: http://www.hss.caltech.edu/ss

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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