Ansolabehere, Stephen and Maxwell Palmer. 2016. “A Two Hundred-Year Statistical History of the Gerrymander.” Ohio State Law Journal 77(4): 741–762.
In this Article we assess the geographic compactness of every congressional district used across U.S. history. Using the original gerrymander as a standard and a variety of compactness measures, we assess changes in geographic gerrymandering over time and analyze the effect of key voting rights laws and court cases on compactness. We find that approximately 20% of all districts are less compact than the original gerrymander. This pattern has been fairly steady over the past 200 years but has worsened since the 1960s. We also show a strong relationship between non-compact districts and Democratic vote share in congressional elections; Democratic districts tend to be less compact than Republican districts.