Enhancing Democracy Through Legislative Redistricting

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Enhancing Democracy Through Legislative Redistricting

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Title: Enhancing Democracy Through Legislative Redistricting
Author: King, Gary ORCID  0000-0002-5327-7631 ; Gelman, Andrew

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Citation: Gelman, Andrew, and Gary King. 1994. Enhancing democracy through legislative redistricting. American Political Science Review 88(3): 541-559.
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Research Data: http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/BNCOWNVERH
Abstract: We demonstrate the surprising benefits of legislative redistricting (including partisan gerrymandering) for American representative democracy. In so doing, our analysis resolves two long-standing controversies in American politics. First, whereas some scholars believe that redistricting reduces electoral responsiveness by protecting incumbents, others, that the relationship is spurious, we demonstrate that both sides are wrong: redistricting increases responsiveness. Second, while some researchers believe that gerrymandering dramatically increases partisan bias and others deny this effect, we show both sides are in a sense correct. Gerrymandering biases electoral systems in favor of the party that controls the redistricting as compared to what would have happened if the other party controlled it, but any type of redistricting reduces partisan bias as compared to an electoral system without redistricting. Incorrect conclusions in both literatures resulted from misjudging the enormous uncertainties present during redistricting periods, making simplified assumptions about the redistricters' goals, and using inferior statistical methods.
Published Version: doi:10.2307/2944794
Other Sources: http://j.mp/1aJtKL8
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4266310
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