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Endogenous Voting Weights for Elected Representatives and Redistricting

  • Justin Svec


    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • James Hamilton


    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

This paper analyzes the merits of a novel method of eliminating the power of a gerrymanderer that involves an endogenous weighting system for elected representatives. This endogenous weighting system ties the voting weight of elected representatives in the legislature to the share of the voters who voted for that representative's party and to the share of representatives elected from that party. If the weights are set correctly, it can be shown in simple voting models like Gilligan and Matsusaka (1999) that redistricting has no influence on the policy passed by the legislature. This benefit, though, is out-weighed by the fact that, in more realistic voting models, the gerrymanderer can manipulate the redistricting process to achieve greater policy bias than under the status quo.

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Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1307.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1307
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  1. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Strategic Redistricting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1616-41, September.
  2. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1409-1471, November.
  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. Thomas Gilligan & John Matsusaka, 2006. "Public choice principles of redistricting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 381-398, December.
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