Assignment 1: LASA 2: The Apportionment Problem
You are a census officer in a newly democratic nation and you have been charged with using the census data from the table below to determine how 100 congressional seats should be divided among the 10 states of the union.
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Being a fan of United States history, you are familiar with the many methods of apportionment applied to this problem to achieve fair representation in the US House of Representatives. You decide that apportionment (chapter 11, sections 1-4 in your textbook) is the best approach to solving this problem, but need to compare several methods and then determine which is actually fair.
- Using the Hamilton method of apportionment, determine the number of seats each state should receive.
- Using the numbers you just calculated from applying the Hamilton method, determine the average constituency for each state. Explain your decision making process for allocating the remaining seats.
- Calculate the absolute and relative unfairness of this apportionment.
- Explain how changes in state boundaries or populations could affect the balance of representation in this congress. Provide an example using the results above.
- How and why could an Alabama Paradox occur?
- Explain how applying the Huntington-Hill apportionment method helps to avoid an Alabama Paradox.
- Based upon your experience in solving this problem, do you feel apportionment is the best way to achieve fair representation? Be sure to support your answer.
- Suggest another strategy that could be applied to achieve fair representation either using apportionment methods or a method of your choosing.
You may perform your own calculations or use either the Excel spreadsheet or the Excel 2013 Spreadsheet to assist you. You must show some calculations in your document to demonstrate that you know how to perform these tasks. Be sure to compile your work in a Word document and submit it
Assignment 2: Fair Shares
The Center City Anuraphilic (frog lovers) society has fallen on hard times. Abraham, Bobby and Charlene are the only remaining members and each feels equally entitled to take possession of the society’s collection of live rare tropical frogs. The decision is made to use the method of sealed bids and fair shares to decide who will take possession of the entire collection and how much will be paid in compensation to the other members.
Abraham unseals his estimate of the value of the collection at $12,000.00. Bobby’s estimate of the value of the collection is $6,000.00. Charlene values the collection at $9,000.00.
- Who receives the collection of frogs?
- What is each person’s fair share of the monetary value of the collection?
- Why is the monetary amount of each fair share different?
- How much money is owed to each of the two people who do not “win” the collection of frogs?
- In your opinion how “Fair” is the process described above?
Now pretending for a moment that you like frogs, we will insert you into the situation under special circumstances. Despite (or perhaps because of) your love of all things amphibious, you currently lack the funds to pay each of the others their probable fair share. You will not receive the collection, but wish to receive as much money as possible. You have no knowledge of the amounts in each of the sealed bids, but strongly suspect that Abraham will bid between $10,000.00 and $12,000.00.
- Given that you cannot afford to “win” the process, describe how you will go about deciding what to put down for your own estimate of the value of the collection.