Small Changes, Big Results: Legislative Voting Behavior in the Presence of New Voters

Electoral Studies, Forthcoming

33 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2011

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Jamie L. Carson

University of Georgia

Date Written: January 11, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Redistricting, Legislative Voting, Roll Call Voting

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Carson, Jamie L., Small Changes, Big Results: Legislative Voting Behavior in the Presence of New Voters (January 11, 2011). Electoral Studies, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1738584

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Jamie L. Carson

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

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