American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 4 (September 2010)


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Strategic Redistricting

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Gul, Faruk, and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. 2010. "Strategic Redistricting." American Economic Review, 100(4): 1616-41.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1616


Two parties choose redistricting plans to maximize their probability of winning a majority in the House of Representatives. In the unique equilibrium, parties maximally segregate their opponents' supporters but pool their own supporters into uniform districts. Ceteris paribus, the stronger party segregates more than the weaker one, and the election outcome is biased in the stronger party's favor and against the party whose supporters are easier to identify. We incorporate policy choice into our redistricting game and find that when one party controls redistricting, the equilibrium policy is biased towards the preferences of the redistricting party's supporters. (JEL C72, D72)

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Gul, Faruk (Princeton U)
Pesendorfer, Wolfgang (Princeton U)

JEL Classifications

C72: Noncooperative Games
D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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