Optimal Redistricting Under Geographical Constraints: Why 'Pack and Crack' Does Not Work

8 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2010

See all articles by Clemens Puppe

Clemens Puppe

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; University of Karlsruhe

Attila Tasnadi

Corvinus University of Budapest

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

We show that even when voters’ preferences are deterministic and known optimal partisan redistricting is not generally obtained by concentrating opponent’s supporters in “unwinnable” districts (“packing”) and spreading one’s own supporters evenly among the other districts in order to produce many slight marginal wins (“cracking”). More generally, we prove that for districting problems with geographical constraints determining an optimal solution is a computationally intractable (NPcomplete) problem.

Keywords: districting, gerrymandering, NP-complete problems

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Puppe, Clemens and Tasnadi, Attila, Optimal Redistricting Under Geographical Constraints: Why 'Pack and Crack' Does Not Work (July 2008). Economics Letters, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1558351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1558351

Clemens Puppe (Contact Author)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( email )

Kaiserstraße 12
Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg 76131
Germany

University of Karlsruhe ( email )

Kaiserstrasse 12
Karlsruhe, 76128
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wior.uni-karlsruhe.de/LS_Puppe/Personal/puppe_home

Attila Tasnadi

Corvinus University of Budapest ( email )

Fovam ter 8
Budapest, H-1093
Hungary

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-corvinus.hu/~tasnadi

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
44
Abstract Views
544
PlumX Metrics