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While conventional wisdom holds that partisan bias in U.S. legislative elections results from intentional partisan and racial gerrymandering, we demonstrate that substantial bias can also emerge from patterns of human geography. We show that in many states, Democrats are inefficiently concentrated in large cities and smaller industrial agglomerations such(More)
Do distributive benefits increase voter participation? This article argues that the government delivery of distributive aid increases the incumbent party’s turnout but decreases opposition-party turnout. The theoretical intuition here is that an incumbent who delivers distributive benefits to the opposing party’s voters partially mitigates these voters’(More)
Does globalization’s impact on the labor market affect how people vote? I address this question using a new dataset based on plant-level data that measures the impact of foreign competition on the U.S. workforce over an 8-year period. Analyzing change in the president’s vote share, I find that voters were substantially more sensitive to the loss of local(More)
Why do voters often reward incumbents when they receive government spending? We develop a model in which distributive spending provides voters not just with a financial benefit, but also an opportunity to observe and judge the appropriateness of government decisions. Empirically, we test the model’s predictions using individuallevel data on FEMA disaster(More)
Social scientists have made progress in providing the courts with useful measures of partisan asymmetry in the transformation of votes to seats, but have thus far left a larger question unanswered: how can partisan gerrymandering be distinguished from a state legislature’s acceptable efforts to apply traditional districting criteria, keep communities of(More)
Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives both the Senate and the President a role in the appointment of public bureaucrats. Yet, since the drafting of that constitutional passage, changes within the Senate and Executive have created new ways for officials to influence who gets appointed to the public bureaucracy. The Senate has developed(More)
When one of the major parties in the United States wins a substantially larger share of the seats than its vote share would seem to warrant, the conventional explanation lies in manipulation of maps by the party that controls the redistricting process. Yet this paper uses a unique data set from Florida to demonstrate a common mechanism through which(More)
This article illustrates how the relationship between political geography and the electoral bias of a districting plan, as measured by the efficiency gap, can be analyzed in a statistically rigorous manner using computer simulations of the legislative redistricting process. By generating a large number of different districting plans designed to optimize on(More)
When one of the major parties in the United States wins a substantially larger share of the seats than its vote share would seem to warrant, the conventional explanation lies in overt partisan or racial gerrymandering. Yet this paper uses a unique data set from Florida to demonstrate a common mechanism through which substantial partisan bias can emerge(More)