IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v104y2013icp1-13.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal districting with endogenous party platforms

Author

Listed:
  • Bracco, Emanuele

Abstract

Representation is one of the most important criteria by which to judge electoral systems. In this paper, I focus on one aspect of representative democracy: the formation of electoral district boundaries. It is well known that majoritarian systems give rise to highly biased seat–vote curves, causing representation to be less than ideal. What should, therefore, be the optimal constituency design when the objective is to maximize voters' welfare? I show that when parties take account of districting while setting platforms, then the district design problem reduces to a very simple rule: do nothing when voters are risk neutral, and — when voters are risk averse — choose a bias that is against the largest partisan group. Calibrating the model on data of the U.S. State legislative elections during the 1990s, I show that the welfare gain due to optimal districting is very small.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracco, Emanuele, 2013. "Optimal districting with endogenous party platforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 1-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:1-13
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272713000935
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
    2. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Wittman, Donald, 1983. "Candidate Motivation: A Synthesis of Alternative Theories," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 142-157, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    9. Katerina Sherstyuk, 1998. "How to gerrymander: A formal analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 27-49, April.
    10. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, September.
    12. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    13. Bernhardt, Dan & Duggan, John & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "The Case for Responsible Parties," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 570-587, November.
    14. Thomas Gilligan & John Matsusaka, 2006. "Public choice principles of redistricting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 381-398, December.
    15. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    16. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Strategic Redistricting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1616-1641, September.
    17. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
    18. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
    19. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Larionova, Marina (Ларионова, Марина) & Shelepov, Andrey (Шелепов, Андрей) & Sakharov, Andrey (Сахаров, Андрей) & Kolmar, Olga (Колмар, Ольга) & Safonkina, Elizaveta (Сафонкина, Елизавета) & Popova, I, 2018. "Comparative Analysis of the Formation of the New Development Bank (Nbb) and the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments (Abia) [Сравнительный Анализ Становления Нового Банка Развития (Нбр) И Азиа," Working Papers 041814, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    2. Hideo Konishi & Chen‐Yu Pan, 2020. "Partisan and bipartisan gerrymandering," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1183-1212, September.
    3. Pei Li & Yi Lu & Tuan-Heww Sng, 2017. "Artificial Administrative Boundaries: Evidence from China," CEH Discussion Papers 09, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    4. Justin Svec & James Hamilton, 2015. "Endogenous voting weights for elected representatives and redistricting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 434-441, December.
    5. Tim Willems, 2014. "You Can Go Your Own Way: Explaining Partisan Support for Independence," Economics Series Working Papers 717, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Districting; Seat–vote curve; Social planner; Policy motivated parties; Office-motivated parties; Voting; Legislative elections;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:1-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.