Title

Gerrymandering and the Voting Rights Act of 1982: A public choice analysis of turnover in the US House of Representatives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-1997

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

The present paper uses various data sets and statistical techniques to examine the outcome of gerrymandering under the Voting Rights Act of 1982 on turnover rates in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the competitiveness in Party primaries for House seats. Evidence presented here suggests that political redistricting at the federal level (namely for U.S. House seats) has tended to favor incumbents in both the Party primaries and general elections. In fact, some results suggest that turnover rates (for 1988) are between 8.9 and 10.3 percentage points lower within states that engaged in such redistricting efforts. Our findings generally support the main tenets of the public choice view of legislator behavior.

Publication Title

PUBLIC CHOICE

Volume

93

Issue

3-4

First Page

357

Last Page

371