Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1154054
 
 

References (18)



 
 

Citations (12)



 


 



Does Gerrymandering Cause Polarization?


Nolan McCarty


Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Keith T. Poole


University of Georgia - School of Public and International Affairs

Howard Rosenthal


New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

February 2006


Abstract:     
Both pundits and scholars have blamed increasing levels of partisan conflict and polarization in Congress on the effects of partisan gerrymandering. We assess whether there is a strong causal relationship between congressional districting and polarization. We find very little evidence for such a link. First, we show that congressional polarization is primarily a function of the differences in how Democrats and Republicans represent the same districts rather than a function of which districts each party represents or the distribution of constituency preferences. Second, we conduct simulations to gauge the level of polarization under various "neutral" districting procedures. We find that the actual levels of polarization are not much higher than those produced by the simulations. We do find that gerrymandering has increased the Republican seat share in the House; this increase is not an important source of polarization.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

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Date posted: July 1, 2008  

Suggested Citation

McCarty, Nolan and Poole, Keith T. and Rosenthal, Howard, Does Gerrymandering Cause Polarization? (February 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1154054 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1154054

Contact Information

Nolan McCarty
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )
304 Robertson Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
(609) 258-1862 (Phone)
(609) 258-2809 (Fax)
Keith T. Poole (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - School of Public and International Affairs ( email )
Baldwin Hall
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
Howard Rosenthal
New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )
715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
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