Theories of partisan redistricting postulate unitary actors maximizing their party's expected seat share. Yet, the partition of a fixed supply of friendly voters necessarily implies a tragedy of the commons. We recast partisan redistricting as a bargaining game among the sitting representatives of the party controlling the map. The status quo is the threat point, explaining why changes are frequently minor. This bargaining framework implies that highly competitive districts will receive more help from redistricting if they are already represented by the party in charge. Employing a regression discontinuity design with precinct-level data, we find support for this prediction.
Sabouni, Hisam, and Cameron A. Shelton.
"Gerrymandering in State Legislatures: Frictions from Axiomatic Bargaining."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior