The Effects of Voter Partisanship on Economic Redistribution: Evidence from Gerrymandering
66 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2019 Last revised: 2 Nov 2021
Date Written: June 7, 2021
We study how voter partisanship affects economic redistribution. We model that partisan alignment between voters and their legislative representative reduces the representative's incentive to serve her constituents' economic interests. To identify shifts in partisan alignment, we exploit U.S. congressional redistricting and show that partisan gerrymandering produces predictable shifts in district-level voter partisanship. Comparing districts where the gerrymandering party's candidate narrowly won and narrowly lost the pre-redistricting election, we find representatives insulated by favorable gerrymandering vote more frequently with their party on congressional bills and bring less discretionary federal spending to their districts relative to representatives exposed by unfavorable gerrymandering.
Keywords: political economy, distributive politics, gerrymandering, redistricting, partisanship
JEL Classification: D72, H73, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation