Geographic Representation

20.02.2024 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Orit Kedar
Lecturer affiliation: 
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

We point at an overlooked aspect of misrepresentation in electoral systems: The degree to which within parties, voters residing in some districts are overrepresented at the expense of their co-partisans residing elsewhere. We theoretically develop the concept and study it empirically. Drawing on district-level data of 113 parties from 12 districted democracies, we find a substantial degree of geographic representational discrepancies within parties. Importantly, we show that the discrepancy is often accompanied by a difference in policy positions, rendering it particularly significant politically. We further propose a general measure for the discrepancy between the votes a party gains in different districts and the seats it holds in them, namely, geographic disproportionality (GeoDisp), and hypothesize about its behavior in different contexts. Unlike malapportionment, GeoDisp is party specific, and draws on actual votes. Utilizing geocoded data, we find a substantial degree of geographic disproportionality, which, per our expectations, varies by party.