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Districts, Diversity, and Fiscal Biases: Evidence from the American States.

  • Law
  • Political Science


This paper argues that the configuration of legislative districts and not merely the number of districts matters for fiscal performance. District configuration mediates the extent of constituent diversity both across and within districts. Both dimensions of diversity affect the political calculus associated with pork barrel politics. Empirical findings for the American states reveal statistically and quantitatively significant effects of constituent diversity on state government spending. Together the analysis and evidence emphasize the conditional nature of the "Law of 1/n." In the United States, this point acquires practical relevance from the Constitutional mandate for decennial redistricting in all jurisdictions based on geographic representation. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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