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How To Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis

Sherstyuk, Katerina (1993) How To Gerrymander: A Formal Analysis. Social Science Working Paper, 855. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The paper presents an effort to incorporate geographic and other possible exogenous constraints that might be imposed on districting into an optimal partisan gerrymandering scheme. We consider an optimal districting scheme for a party which maximizes the number of districts that it will, in expectation, win, given arbitrary distributions of voters and party supporters over the electoral territory. We show that such a scheme exists if an equal size requirement is the only constraint imposed on districting. If, further, the requirement of territorial connectedness is imposed, the optimal districting scheme still exists when arbitrarily small deviations from the equal size requirement are admissible. Additional constraints imposed on districting make gerrymandering more difficult and sometimes impossible. Although the party is assumed to ignore the risk associated with possible shifts in electoral votes and thus takes the expected share of votes as a perfect predictor of electoral outcomes, the presented approach is valid for a party with any attitude towards risk and for any kind of majority rule used in elections. The results are consistent with earlier findings on unconstrained optimal partisan gerrymandering.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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Additional Information:I would like to thank Richard McKelvey, Kim Border, and Morgan Kousser for their help and suggestions. Any errors are my own. Published as Sherstyuk, Katerina. "How to gerrymander: A formal analysis." Public Choice 95, no. 1 (1998): 27-49.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:855
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170824-145613292
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80771
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:30 Aug 2017 18:39
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:34

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