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Reapportionment and Redistribution: Consequences of Electoral Reform in Japan

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Does reapportionment in a legislature affect policy outcomes? We examine this question from a comparative perspective by focusing on reapportionment associated with the electoral reform in Japan. First, we show that the reform of 1994 resulted in an unprecedented degree of equalization in legislative representation. Second, using municipal-level data, we present evidence that municipalities in overrepresented districts received significantly more subsidies per capita, as compared to those in underrepresented districts, in both prereform and postreform years. Third, by examining the relationship between the change in the number of seats per capita and the change in the amount of subsidies per capita at the municipal level, we show that the equalization in voting strength resulted in an equalization of total transfers per person.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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