Population paradox

Narins, Josh josh.narins at lehman.com
Wed Feb 5 08:26:51 PST 2003

A bias over time for small states?

I think they are entirely incorrect.

Over time, half the small states will have an advantage, half will be at a

example today:
Average district: 660K

Wyoming: 490K (-170K)
Montana: 905L (+245K)

The way things are going, Montana will _NEVER_ get a second seat.

The 7 single district states are...

Alaska   628K
Delaware 758K
Montana  905K
N. Dak   644K
S. Dak   756K
Vermont  610K
Wyoming  495K

Total = 4.796M

Divided by 66OK = 7.2 seats. (the actual average district size, if anything
is smaller, but 660K is fair)

So, for the next 10 years, the 7 single district states are _under_

If you throw in D.C (519K, non-voting member, doesn't count) it gets back to
about average.

The same held true for the last census (actually, it was slightly worse for
the smallest states last time)

Maybe someday I'll get the relevant section of the congressional record

ciao for now

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph Malkevitch [mailto:joeyc at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU] 
> Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 7:57 PM
> To: election-methods-list at eskimo.com; joeyc at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
> Subject: Re: Population paradox
> Dear Readers,
> Like deciding what election method is "best" or "fairest" there are 
> similar difficulties for apportionment. There are 
> mathematical theorems 
> which state that among "divisor" methods, for each of the 5 methods 
> traditionally considered (Jefferson, Adams, Webster, Huntington-Hill, 
> Dean), there are optimization functions that each of the 
> methods is best 
> for. However, none of these methods guarantees that a state 
> is given its 
> "quota" or its quota plus 1. The argument against Huntington-Hill by 
> Balinski and Young (they favor Webster) is made on the basis of bias 
> over a period of time in using this method towards small states. 
> However, one can argue that bias can occur due the constitutional 
> requirement that every state no matter how small in population get at 
> least 1 seat, and bias due to the method itself. It's not 
> clear to me at 
> least how to sort out these two factors (see paper by 
> Lawrence Ernst). 
> Also, if one believes that relative error is more important than 
> absolute error, and bias need not worry one, then one can support 
> Huntington-Hill.
> Cheers,
> Joe
> -- 
> Joseph Malkevitch
> Department of Mathematics
> York College (CUNY)
> Jamaica, New York 11451
> Phone: 718-262-2551
> Web page: http://www.york.cuny.edu/~malk
> ----
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