Congressional Representation & Constituents: The Case for Increasing the U.S. House of Representatives

1st Edition

Brian Frederick

Routledge
Published November 25, 2009
Reference - 172 Pages
ISBN 9780415873468 - CAT# Y105312
Series: Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation

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Summary

The U.S. House of Representatives has been frozen at 435 members for almost a century, and in that time the nation’s population has grown by more than 200 percent. With the number of citizens represented by each House member now dramatically larger, is a major consequence of this historical disparity a diminished quality of representation?

Brian Frederick uses empirical data to scrutinize whether representation has been undermined by keeping a ceiling on the number of seats available in the House. He examines the influence of constituency size on several metrics of representation—including estimating the effects on electoral competition, policy responsiveness, and citizen contact with and approval of their representatives—and argues that now is the time for the House to be increased in order to better represent a rapidly growing country.

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