Electoral Rules and Minority Representation in U.S. Cities

@article{Trebbi2008ElectoralRA,
  title={Electoral Rules and Minority Representation in U.S. Cities},
  author={Francesco Trebbi and Philippe Aghion and Alberto F. Alesina},
  journal={Quarterly Journal of Economics},
  year={2008},
  volume={123},
  pages={325-357}
}
This paper studies the choice of electoral rules and in particular the question of minority representation. Majorities tend to disenfranchise minorities through strategic manipulation of electoral rules. With the aim of explaining changes in electoral rules adopted by U.S. cities, particularly in the South, we show why majorities tend to adopt "winner-take-all" city-wide rules (at-large elections) in response to an increase in the size of the minority when the minority they are facing is… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Examining the Effects of Electoral Systems on Minority Representation in U.S. City Councils Using a Large Sample

In recent decades, reform movements have lobbied to remove at-large elections from local governing bodies and replace them with elections by district—in which a city’s electorate is divided into

Non-Discriminatory Electoral Rules, Local Public Goods, and Redistribution: Evidence from US Municipalities

The Voting Right Act guaranteed the right to vote for minorities, including the prohibition of any electoral discriminatory practices on the basis of race. This triggered a series of court decisions

Race , Representation and Policy : Black Elected Officials and Public Spending in the US South ∗

The Supreme Court has recently struck down key provisions of the Voting Right Act mandating federal scrutiny over states with a history of black disenfranchisement. How significant was the VRA for

How Electoral Institutions Shape the Efficiency and Equity of Distributive Policy

How does the aggregation of voters affect the trade-off between the efficient production of collective goods and the equitable distribution of costs? We find that district elections amplify the local

Group Size and Political Representation Under Alternate Electoral Systems

We examine the effect of group size of minorities on their representation in national government under majoritarian (MR) and proportional (PR) electoral systems. We first establish a robust empirical

The Impact of Court-Ordered District Elections on City Finances

In 1972, the representation of blacks on city councils was only half of their share of the US population. Starting in 1975, courts sought to increase minority representation by ruling at-large city

Party Splits, Not Progressives

The choice of proportional representation (PR) is rarely included in work on American local politics. Yet we have long known that 24 cities adopted the single transferable vote form of PR from 1915

Representation in Municipal Government

Municipal governments play a vital role in American democracy, as well as in governments around the world. Despite this, little is known about the degree to which cities are responsive to the views

Can Political Parties Improve Minority Welfare? Evidence from India's 'Silent Revolution'

Electoral quotas guaranteeing a threshold level of political representation for women and underprivileged socio-ethnic/religious minorities have been adopted in over 100 countries. This paper
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 81 REFERENCES

Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?

Majority-minority voting districts have been advanced as a remedy to the underrepresentation of minority interests in the political process. Yet, their efficacy in furthering the substantive goals of

France: Reform-mongering Between Majority Runoff and Proportionality

For perhaps no other country do we have so much ‘evidence of the politician’s belief in the importance of electoral systems as political weapons… Between 1870 and 1940 the parliamentary electoral

Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India

A basic premise of representative democracy is that all those subject to policy should have a voice in its making. However, policies enacted by electorally accountable governments often fail to

Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction

Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction. By J. Morgan Kousser. (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, c. 1999. Pp. xii, 590.

Germany: Partisan Engineering of Personalized Proportional Representation

This chapter assesses how the shadow which Weimar cast on the constitutional deliberations of postwar Germany shaped actors’ institutional preferences and thereby constrained partisan motivations. It

Mobility and Redistribution

The ability of individuals to move freely from one jurisdiction to another is generally seen as a constraint on the amount of redistribution that each jurisdiction within a system of governments can

Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference

As events highlight deep divisions in attitudes between America and Europe, this is a very timely study of different approaches to the problems of domestic inequality and poverty. Based on careful

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

This book develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. Different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political

Towards a Theory of Optimal Partisan Gerrymandering

Standard intuitions for optimal gerrymandering involve concentrating one’s extreme opponents in “unwinable”districts (“throwing-away”) and spreading one’s supporters evenly over “winnable”districts

The art of political manipulation

In twelve entertaining stories from history and current events, a noted political scientist and game theorist shows us how some of our heroes we as well as ordinary folk have manipulated their
...