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Monday, September 16, 2019 at 11:40am to 1:10pm
Uris Hall, 494
Allison Stashko - University of Utah
Abstract: Electoral district borders regularly cross the borders of local governments. At the same time, elected representatives allocate money using transfers to local governments. Political parties may try to target these transfers to win district elections, but can only imperfectly do so because of border mismatch. I incorporate border mismatch into a model of political competition and bring new predictions to data on transfers from U.S. states to counties. Border mismatch increases inequality in transfers: otherwise similar counties receive different amounts of money depending on how many electoral districts they are in and the voting behavior in any neighboring counties that share those districts. Empirical evidence is consistent with the model and suggests that border mismatch has a sizable effect on the allocation of government resources. Gerrymandered maps, those drawn to increase partisan control, have more cases of border mismatch. This paper then shows a novel way in which redistricting, and gerrymandering in particular, affects voter welfare.