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Gerrymandering and the Voting Rights Act of 1982: A Public Choice Analysis of Turnover in the U.S. House of Representatives

Frank Mixon and Kamal Upadhyaya ()

Public Choice, 1997, vol. 93, issue 3-4, 357-71

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. The authors' findings generally support the main tenets of the public choice view of legislator behavior. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 1997
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