DP15401 Competitive Gerrymandering and the Popular Vote

Author(s): Felix Bierbrauer, Mattias Polborn
Publication Date: October 2020
Keyword(s): Gerrymandering, legislative elections, redistricting
JEL(s): C72, D72
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15401

Gerrymandering undermines representative democracy by creating many uncompetitive legislative districts, and generating the very real possibility that a party that wins a clear majority of the popular vote does not win a majority of districts. We present a new approach to the determination of electoral districts, taking a design perspective. Specifically, we develop a redistricting game between two parties who both seek an advantage in upcoming elections, and show that we can achieve two desirable properties: First, the overall election outcome corresponds to the popular vote. Second, most districts are competitive.