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Simulating Counterfactual Representation

  • Andrew C. Eggers (a1) and Benjamin E. Lauderdale (a2)

We show how to use multilevel modeling and post-stratification to estimate legislative outcomes under counterfactual representation schemes that, for example, boost the representation of women or translate votes into seats differently. We apply this technique to two research questions: (1) Would the U.S. Congress be less polarized if state delegations were formed according to the principle of party proportional representation? (2) Would there have been stronger support for legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.K. House of Commons if Parliament more closely reflected the population in gender and age?

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Authors' note: The authors thank the associate editor (Justin Grimmer) and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments; Jennifer vanVeerde-Hudson and Rosie Campbell for sharing data; and participants at the 2015 Midwest Political Science Association annual meetings for useful feedback. Replication materials are available online on the Political Analysis Dataverse at

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Charles Cameron , David Epstein , and Sharyn O’Halloran . 1996. Do majority-minority districts maximize substantive black representation in Congress? American Political Science Review 90(04): 794812.

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Nicholas Carnes , and Noam Lupu . 2015. Rethinking the comparative perspective on class and representation: Evidence from Latin America. American Journal of Political Science 59(1): 118.

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David K. Park , Andrew Gelman , and Joseph Bafumi . 2004. Bayesian multilevel estimation with poststratification: State-level estimates from national polls. Political Analysis 12(4): 375–85.

Carl-Erik Särndal , and Sixten Lundström . 2005. Estimation in surveys with nonresponse. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Boris Shor , and Nolan McCarty . 2011. The ideological mapping of American legislatures. American Political Science Review 105(3): 530–51.

Dennis M. Simon , and Barbara Palmer . 2010. The roll call behavior of men and women in the US House of Representatives, 1937–2008. Politics & Gender 6(02): 225–46.

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Political Analysis
  • ISSN: 1047-1987
  • EISSN: 1476-4989
  • URL: /core/journals/political-analysis
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