Redistricting and Polarization: Who Draws the Lines in California?
In the United States, the process of drawing election districts is left to individual states, and critics of legislative redistricting often argue for independent panels to take control of the process. A common claim is that legislative redistricting has been a major contributor to polarization in the American political system. Previous attempts to test for a relationship between redistricting and polarization have generally relied on cross-state comparisons of redistricting methods and examinations of behavior in the House of Representatives. In this paper, I exploit the alternation between legislatively drawn and panel-drawn districts in California since the mid-1960s. Using data at the state legislature level, I find evidence that legislatively drawn districts have been, on average, less competitive than panel-drawn districts. Moreover, as districts become "safer," legislators tend to take more extreme voting positions. Finally, I find evidence that legislative redistricting (compared with panel-drawn redistricting) is associated with increased polarization.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Powell, James L, 1986. "Symmetrically Trimmed Least Squares Estimation for Tobit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1435-1460, November.
- 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.
- Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- Sherstyuk, Katerina, 1998.
"How to Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis,"
Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 27-49, April.
- Sherstyuk, K., 1995. "How to Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 469, The University of Melbourne.
- Sherstyuk, Katerina, 1993. "How to Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis," Working Papers 855, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
- Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
- Crain, W Mark, 1999. "Districts, Diversity, and Fiscal Biases: Evidence from the American States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 675-698, October.
- John N. Friedman & Richard T. Holden, 2008. "Optimal Gerrymandering: Sometimes Pack, but Never Crack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 113-144, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/605724. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.