Journal of Applied Probability
- J. Appl. Probab.
- Volume 49, Number 3 (2012), 773-794.
The probability of the Alabama paradox
Hamilton's method is a natural and common method to distribute seats proportionally between states (or parties) in a parliament. In the USA it has been abandoned due to some drawbacks, in particular the possibility of the Alabama paradox, but it is still in use in many other countries. In this paper we give, under certain assumptions, a closed formula for the asymptotic probability, as the number of seats tends to infinity, that the Alabama paradox occurs given the vector p1,..., pm of relative sizes of the states. From the formula we deduce a number of consequences. For example, the expected number of states that will suffer from the Alabama paradox is asymptotically bounded above by 1 / e and on average approximately 0.123.
J. Appl. Probab., Volume 49, Number 3 (2012), 773-794.
First available in Project Euclid: 6 September 2012
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Janson, Svante; Linusson, Svante. The probability of the Alabama paradox. J. Appl. Probab. 49 (2012), no. 3, 773--794. doi:10.1239/jap/1346955333. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.jap/1346955333