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Optimal redistricting under geographical constraints: Why "pack and crack" does not work

  • Puppe, Clemens
  • Tasnádi, Attila

We show that optimal partisan redistricting with geographical constraints is a computationally intractable (NP-complete) problem. In particular, even when voter's preferences are deterministic, a solution is generally not obtained by concentrating opponent's supporters in "unwinnable" districts ("packing") and spreading one's own supporters evenly among the other districts in order to produce many slight marginal wins ("cracking").

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V84-4WK486F-2/2/1b77be079f6f0f445c51bb5db68bc384
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 105 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 93-96

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:105:y:2009:i:1:p:93-96
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  1. Sherstyuk, Katerina, 1998. " How to Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 27-49, April.
  2. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Faruk Gul, 2007. "Strategic Redistricting," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000351, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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