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Strategic Redistricting

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Suggested Citation

  • Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Strategic Redistricting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1616-1641, September.
  • 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 listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1409-1471.
    2. Katerina Sherstyuk, 1998. "How to gerrymander: A formal analysis," Public Choice, Springer, pages 27-49.
    3. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2005. "Socially Optimal Districting," NBER Working Papers 11462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. 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.
    6. Timothy Besley & Ian Preston, 2007. "Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1473-1510.
    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.
    9. John N. Friedman & Richard T. Holden, 2008. "Optimal Gerrymandering: Sometimes Pack, but Never Crack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 113-144.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:03:p:541-559_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Francesco De Sinopoli & Leo Ferraris & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2013. "Electing a parliament," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(3), pages 715-737, March.
    3. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "Electoral Imbalances and their Consequences," MPRA Paper 68650, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Nov 2015.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
    6. Clemens Puppe & Attila Tasnádi, 2015. "Axiomatic districting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 31-50, January.
    7. Biró, Péter & Kóczy, László Á. & Sziklai, Balázs, 2015. "Fair apportionment in the view of the Venice Commission’s recommendation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 32-41.
    8. Bracco, Emanuele, 2013. "Optimal districting with endogenous party platforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-13.
    9. Hyytinen, Ari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "Electoral vulnerability and size of local governments: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 193-204.
    10. Justin Svec & James Hamilton, 2015. "Endogenous voting weights for elected representatives and redistricting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 434-441.
    11. Justin Svec & James Hamilton, 2015. "Endogenous voting weights for elected representatives and redistricting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 434-441.
    12. Blesse, Sebastian & Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2016. "Do municipal mergers reduce costs? Evidence from a German federal state," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 54-74.
    13. Bittó, Virág, 2017. "Az Imperiali és Macau politikai választókörzet-kiosztási módszerek empirikus vizsgálata
      [Empirical Analysis of the Imperiali and Macau Apportionment Methods]
      ," MPRA Paper 79554, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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