Small Changes, Big Results: Legislative Voting Behavior in the Presence of New Voters
Anthony M. Bertelli
USC Price School of Public Policy; USC Gould School of Law; University of Birmingham
Jamie L. Carson
University of Georgia
January 11, 2011
Electoral Studies, Forthcoming
Changes in district boundaries in small magnitude electoral systems can have substantive consequences for representation. In the U.S., each decennial redistricting cycle infuses House districts with a large number of new voters, changing personal representation for many citizens. What effect does the influx of these new voters exert on member behavior? By assessing the extent of this change in constituencies in conjunction with member voting behavior on roll calls, we can determine if significant changes to a congressional district impact post-redistricting legislative behavior. Using panel data estimators and various measures of legislator behavior, we show evidence that supports this claim. Our findings have notable implications for debates over representation and electoral accountability in legislative assemblies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Redistricting, Legislative Voting, Roll Call Voting
JEL Classification: D72Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 12, 2011
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