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Gerrymandering Roll-Calls: Votes, Decisions, and Partisan bias in Congress, 1879-2000

Cox, Gary W. and Katz, Jonathan N. (2003) Gerrymandering Roll-Calls: Votes, Decisions, and Partisan bias in Congress, 1879-2000. Social Science Working Paper, 1158. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished) https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170801-164857645

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Abstract

We argue that the standard toolbox used in electoral studies to assess the bias and responsiveness of electoral systems can also be used to assess the bias and responsiveness of legislative systems. We consider which items in the toolbox are the most appropriate for use in the legislative setting, then apply them to estimate levels of bias in the U.S. House from 1879 to 2000. Our results indicate a systematic bias in favor of the majority party over this period, with the strongest bias arising during the period of “Czar rule” (51st-60th Congresses, 1889-1910) and during the post-packing era (87th-106th Congresses, 1961-2000). This finding is consistent with the majority party possessing a significant advantage in setting the agenda. “The definition of alternatives is the supreme instrument of power.” -–E. E. Schattschneider (1960, p. 86).


Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Katz, Jonathan N.0000-0002-5287-3503
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:1158
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170801-164857645
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170801-164857645
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79726
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:02 Aug 2017 03:53
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:23

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