Democratic Representation and Partisan Bias in Congressional Elections

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Democratic Representation and Partisan Bias in Congressional Elections

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Title: Democratic Representation and Partisan Bias in Congressional Elections
Author: King, Gary ORCID  0000-0002-5327-7631 ; Browning, Robert X.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: King, Gary, and Robert X. Browning. 1987. Democratic representation and partisan bias in congressional elections. American Political Science Review 81(4): 1251-1273.
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Abstract: T h e translation of citizen votes into legislative seats is of central
importance in democratic electoral systems. It has been a longstanding concern among scholars in political science and in numerous other disciplines. Throughout this literature, two fundamental tenets of democratic theory, partisan bias and democratic representation, have often been confused. We develop a general statistical model of the relationship between votes and seats and separate these two important concepts theoretically and empirically. In so doing, we also solve several methodological problems with the study of seats, votes, and the cube law. An application to U.S. congressional districts provides estimates of bias and representation for each state and demonstrates the model's utility. Results of this application show distinct types of
representation coexisting in U.S. states. Although most states have small partisan biases, there are some with a substantial degree of bias.
Published Version: doi:10.2307/1962588
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