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Working paper

«Нарезка округов по партийному признаку: насколько это может быть плохо?»

Аполлонио Н., Беккер Ф., Лари И., Рикка Ф., Симеоне Б.
Gerrymandering – the artful and partisan manipulation of electoral districts – is a well known pathology of electoral systems, especially majoritarian ones. In this paper, we try to give theoretical and experimental answers to the following questions: 1) How much biased can the assignment of seats be under the effect of gerrymandering? 2) How effective is compactness as a remedy against gerrymandering? Accordingly, the paper is divided into two parts. In the first one, a highly stylized combinatorial model of gerrymandering is studied; in the second one, a more realistic multiobjective graph-partitioning model is adopted and local search techniques are exploited in order to find satisfactory district designs. In a nutshell, our results for the theoretical model mean that gerrymandering is as bad as one can think of and that compactness is as good as one can think of. These conclusions are confirmed to a large extent by the experimental results obtained with the latter model on some medium-large real-life test problems.