Flaws in the Efficiency Gap

33 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017

See all articles by Christopher P. Chambers

Christopher P. Chambers

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Alan D. Miller

Faculty of Law, Western University

Joel Sobel

University of California at San Diego

Date Written: October 2, 2017

Abstract

We conduct an analysis of the “efficiency gap” using tools from economic theory and find serious flaws in the measure. In particular, we show that the efficiency gap contains an peculiar form of cost benefit analysis which is hard to defend, that the recommendations for the use of the efficiency gap treat large states differently from small states without apparent justification, that its use can increase political polarization, and ignores the possibility of uncertainty in the outcome of elections.

Keywords: Efficiency Gap, Partisan Gerrymandering, Measurement, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Scale Invariance, Polarization

JEL Classification: K16

Suggested Citation

Chambers, Christopher P. and Miller, Alan D. and Sobel, Joel, Flaws in the Efficiency Gap (October 2, 2017). Journal of Law and Politics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3046797

Christopher P. Chambers

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Alan D. Miller (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Western University ( email )

1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario N6A3K7
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://alandmiller.com

Joel Sobel

University of California at San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States
619-534-4367 (Phone)
619-534-7040 (Fax)

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