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The Reapportionment Revolution and Bias in U.S. Congressional Elections

Cox, Gary W. and Katz, Jonathan N. (1999) The Reapportionment Revolution and Bias in U.S. Congressional Elections. American Journal of Political Science, 43 (3). pp. 812-841. ISSN 0092-5853. doi:10.2307/2991836.

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We develop a formal model of the redistricting process that highlights the importance of two factors: first, partisan or bipartisan control of the redistricting process; second, the nature of the reversionary outcome, should the state legislature and governor fail to agree on a new districting plan. Using this model, we predict the levels of partisan bias and responsiveness that should be observed under districting plans adopted under various constellations of partisan control of state government and reversionary outcomes, testing our predictions on postwar (1946-70) U.S. House electoral data. We find strong evidence that both partisan control and reversionary outcomes systematically affect the nature of a re- districting plan and the subsequent elections held under it. Further, we show that the well-known disappearance circa 1966 of what had been a long-time pro-Republican bias of about 6 percent in nonsouthern congressional elections can be explained largely by the changing composition of northern districting plans.

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Katz, Jonathan N.0000-0002-5287-3503
Additional Information:© 1999 by the Midwest Political Science Association. We thank Michael Alvarez, Chris Den Hartog, Rod Kiewiet, Mike McDonald, Jonathan Nagler, Tom Palfrey, and participants in seminars at Stanford, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California at Riverside for their helpful comments. We also thank Chris Den Hartog for research assistance. For research support, both authors thank the National Science Foundation for grants SBR-9729899 and SBR-9730547 and Katz thanks the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation.
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John Randolph and Dora Haynes FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140314-120455941
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Official Citation:The Reapportionment Revolution and Bias in U. S. Congressional Elections Gary W. Cox and Jonathan N. Katz American Journal of Political Science , Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jul., 1999) , pp. 812-841 Published by: Midwest Political Science Association Article DOI: 10.2307/2991836 Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44327
Deposited By: Jonathan Katz
Deposited On:17 Mar 2014 21:27
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:50

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