Multimember Districts' Effect on Collaboration between U.S. State Legislators



In this article, I demonstrate that multimember districts form a basis for collaboration between two legislators. In order to maximize the limited incumbency advantages they possess, legislators from multimember districts form coalitions in an effort to generate greater credit-claiming opportunities and policy benefits for their district. In order to test this conception, I utilize a natural experiment and an opportunity to observe institutional change in North Carolina's elimination of multimember districts during the 2000–2002 redistricting cycle. Coupled with cross-sectional analysis of several states that use both single-member and multimember districts, empirical evidence strongly corroborates my conception of multimember districts as a basis for collaboration between representatives.