Population paradox

Narins, Josh josh.narins at lehman.com
Wed Feb 5 08:33:27 PST 2003

> > 	The only issue is the overall standard deviation 
> between district
> > sizes can sometimes be helped by _REDUCING_ the number of seats. FOr
> > instance, at the last Apportionment (2000). Although 435 
> seats were given
> > out, if only 432 had been, the standard deviation of 
> district sizes would
> > have been smaller.
> Has anybody proposed that the number of seats float below the 
> maximum in
> order to take advantage of this possibility?
> Then one could use a multidimensional analog to continued fraction
> approximants for finding the most proportional representation.

	I am very sorry. I am too lazy.
	When the 2000 census was being handled, this issue could have been
broached by me, but I did nothing. I was not, in my defense, thinking
directly about the standard deviation.  I was convinced MEP was slightly
unfair.  The way the House rules work, if it had been unfair, there were
several options available to both my State and the Congress to disregard the
	My congressional representative was the Ranking Member of the House
SubCommittee on the Census.
	My mother's congressional representatve was the Chair of that same
	I did not write either of them to tell them about the ideal point
(from the perspective of standard deviation) of 432 seats for the current
	It's a tricky issue, though, since if the ideal std. dev point was
at 420, I doubt anyone would want it. I'm not sure if it is possible for it
to be as low as 420, off hand.


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