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The Changing Impact of Electoral Structure on Black Representation in the South, 1970-1996

Tim R. Sass and Bobby J. Pittman Jr.
Public Choice
Vol. 104, No. 3/4 (2000), pp. 369-388
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30026433
Page Count: 20
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The Changing Impact of Electoral Structure on Black Representation in the South, 1970-1996
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Abstract

For many years voting rights litigation has focused on elimination of at-large elections and the creation of "majority-minority" districts - election districts where a majority of the electorate are racial/ethnic minorities. Numerous studies have analyzed the impact of district elections on minority representation, particularly the election of blacks in the South. Most of these studies have focused on a single time period, comparing the ratio of black representatives to black population across cities with different electoral schemes. The present study combines data from six different data sets to produce a panel of data covering five distinct time periods over a 26 year span. Cross-sectional estimates of the effect of district elections in each time period are compared to determine how the efficacy of district elections has changed over time. To control for possible selection bias, inter-temporal models of the impact of changes in election structure on changes in representation are also estimated.

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