NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do Majority Black Districts Limit Blacks' Representation? The Case of the 1990 Redistricting

Ebonya L. Washington

NBER Working Paper No. 17099
Issued in May 2011, Revised in December 2011
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics, Political Economy

Conventional wisdom and empirical academic research conclude that majority Black districts decrease Black representation by increasing conservatism in Congress. However, this research generally suffers from three limitations: 1) too low a level of aggregation 2) lack of a counterfactual and 3) failure to account for the endogeneity of the creation of majority minority districts. I compare congressional delegations of states that during the 1990 redistricting were under greater pressure to create majority minority districts with those under lesser pressure in a difference-in-difference framework. I find no evidence that the creation of majority minority districts leads to more conservative House delegations. In fact point estimates indicate that states that increased their share of majority Black districts saw their delegations grow increasingly liberal. I find similar results for majority Latino districts in the southwest. Thus I find no evidence for the common view that majority minority districts decrease minority representation in Congress.

download in pdf format
   (322 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17099

Published: “Do Majority Black Districts Lim it Blacks’ Representation? The Case of the 1990 Redistricting” Journal of Law and Economics , 2012, 55 (2) 251-274.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Washington w11915 How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout
Cascio and Washington w17776 Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Kuziemko and Washington w21703 Why did the Democrats Lose the South? Bringing New Data to an Old Debate
Jones and Walsh w22526 How Do Voters Matter? Evidence from US Congressional Redistricting
Hovhannisyan and Keller w17100 International Business Travel: An Engine of Innovation?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us