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Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evaluations of Partisan Fairness in District-Based Democracies

Katz, Jonathan N. and King, Gary and Rosenblatt, Elizabeth (2020) Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evaluations of Partisan Fairness in District-Based Democracies. American Political Science Review, 114 (1). pp. 164-178. ISSN 0003-0554. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20191030-114031247

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Abstract

We clarify the theoretical foundations of partisan fairness standards for district-based democratic electoral systems, including essential assumptions and definitions not previously recognized, formalized, or in some cases even discussed. We also offer extensive empirical evidence for assumptions with observable implications. We cover partisan symmetry, the most commonly accepted fairness standard, and other perspectives. Throughout, we follow a fundamental principle of statistical inference too often ignored in this literature—defining the quantity of interest separately so its measures can be proven wrong, evaluated, and improved. This enables us to prove which of the many newly proposed fairness measures are statistically appropriate and which are biased, limited, or not measures of the theoretical quantity they seek to estimate at all. Because real-world redistricting and gerrymandering involve complicated politics with numerous participants and conflicting goals, measures biased for partisan fairness sometimes still provide useful descriptions of other aspects of electoral systems.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1017/S000305541900056XDOIArticle
https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/FTYHPJDOIData
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Katz, Jonathan N.0000-0002-5287-3503
King, Gary0000-0002-5327-7631
Rosenblatt, Elizabeth0000-0002-8890-3014
Additional Information:© 2019 American Political Science Association. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 October 2019. All appendices are available at GaryKing.org/symmetry; all data and information necessary to replicate our results are available in Katz, King, and Rosenblatt (2019). Our thanks to Steve Ansolabehere, Peter Aronow, Robin Best, Jowei Chen, Shawn Donahue, Moon Duchin, Jon Eguia, Andrew Gelman, Kosuke Imai, Jonathan Krasno, Eric Lander, Daniel Magleby, Michael D. McDonald, Eric McGhee, John Nagle, Nate Persily, Jameson Quinn, Nick Stephanopoulos, Tyler VanderWeele, Sam Wang, Greg Warrington, and Xiang Zhou for their helpful comments.
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191030-114031247
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20191030-114031247
Official Citation:KATZ, J., KING, G., & ROSENBLATT, E. (2020). Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evaluations of Partisan Fairness in District-Based Democracies. American Political Science Review, 114(1), 164-178. doi:10.1017/S000305541900056X
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99560
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jonathan Katz
Deposited On:16 Jan 2020 15:48
Last Modified:16 Jan 2020 15:48

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