Legislating Without Constraints: The Effect of Minority Districting on Legislators' Responsiveness to Constituency Preferences

  title={Legislating Without Constraints: The Effect of Minority Districting on Legislators' Responsiveness to Constituency Preferences},
  author={Claudine Gay},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={442 - 456}
  • C. Gay
  • Published 1 May 2007
  • Economics, Political Science
  • The Journal of Politics
Numerous critics have charged that the practice of minority districting, by weakening the electoral incentives central to representative behavior, leads legislators to be less responsive to constituency opinion. Using data on referenda and initiative voting to estimate constituency preferences in each of California's 80 Assembly districts, I assess the correspondence between district opinion and roll call voting for legislators from majority-minority and majority-white districts. I show that… 

Latino U.S. State Legislators in the 1990s

The creation of racial/ethnic majority-minority districts lies at the heart of debates regarding the utility of descriptive representation for minority policy advocacy. The general puzzle that

Electoral Vulnerability, Party Affiliation, and Dyadic Constituency Responsiveness in U.S. Legislatures

It is often argued that electoral vulnerability is critical to constituency responsiveness. We investigate this possibility using different measures of vulnerability, but argue that in the United

When do legislators pass on “ pork ” ? The Role of Political Parties and Affirmative Action in Determining Legislator Effort

A central issue in many political economy analyses of public policy is the degree to which legislators have incentives to be responsive to their individual constituents, to “bring home the pork”.

The Role of Rules in Representation: Group Membership and Electoral Incentives

Existing research shows that the election of members of previously underrepresented groups can have significant consequences for policymaking. Yet, quotas, reserved seats, communal rolls, and

When and Why Minority Legislators Matter

This review examines how legislators' race and ethnicity affect the representation of racial and ethnic minorities' interests and priorities in the mass public, how these legislators affect the

Exploring the Impact of Reserved Seat Design on the Quality of Minority Representation

Abstract This paper analyzes the effects of electoral rules for reserved seats in parliaments on representatives' ability and motivation to represent minorities. While most previous studies treat

Representation by the Minute: The Influence of Ethnicity, Partisanship and District Fit on Legislator One-Minute Floor Speeches

Abstract Much of the research on minority representation in the U.S. House has focused on how group preferences are reflected in recorded votes, yet most opportunities for position-taking exist

Cause or Effect? Turnout in Hispanic Majority-Minority Districts

Legislative redistricting alters the political and electoral context for some voters but not others, thus offering a potentially promising research design to study many questions of interest in

Representation in State Supreme Courts

This research capitalizes on the analytical opportunity created by mandatory retirement provisions to explore the nature of the electoral connection in state supreme courts and to illustrate how

Laboratories of Democratic Backsliding

The Trump presidency generated concern about democratic backsliding and re-newed interest in measuring the national democratic performance of the United States. However, the U.S. has a decentralized



"Constituency Preferences: California ballot Propositions, 1974-1990"

What effect do their constituencies'voting preferences have on legislators' roll-call voting patterns? Through a study of citizens' votes on statewide ballot propositions and legislators' votes on

Electoral Competition and Democratic Responsiveness: A Defense of the Marginality Hypothesis

Does vigorous electoral competition help to convert citizens' preferences into government action? No, concludes a series of theoretical and empirical studies conducted over the last 35 years. If

How Reelection Constituencies Matter: Evidence from Political Action Committees' Contributions and Congressional Voting

This article shows that voting in the U.S. Congress and contribution strategies of political action committees (PACs) are guided not by the median voter model but by a model that emphasizes

Constituency Opinion and Congressional Policy Making: The Reagan Defense Buildup

Rrepresentatives' votes on a series of defense budget roll calls in the first year of the Reagan administration's Pentagon buildup are related to constituency opinions on defense spending during the

Minority Turnout and the Creation of Majority-Minority Districts

In the construction of majority-minority districts, it has typically been assumed that turnout of minority voters is low compared to that of Whites. But what happens in the minority-dominated

Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation

Despite the centrality of the median voter prediction in political economy models, overwhelming empirical evidence shows that legislators regularly take positions that diverge significantly from the

The Mobilizing Effect of Majority–Minority Districts on Latino Turnout

We inquire whether residence in majority–minority districts raises or lowers turnout among Latinos. We argue that the logic suggesting that majority–minority districts suppress turnout is flawed and

Race, redistricting, and representation : the unintended consequences of Black majority districts

Since the creation of minority-dominated congressional districts in 1991, the Supreme Court has condemned the move as akin to "political apartheid", while many African-American leaders argue that

Candidate Positioning in U.S. House Elections

siveness waned in the 1980s and 1990s. n an extended republic, the desires of citizens are translated into law through the election of representatives. Candidates present themselves to voters, who