No stratification without representation
Procaccia, A. D.
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Citation (published version)Johannes Benade, P. Goelz, A.D. Procaccia. 2019. "No stratification without representation." ACM EC ’19: ACM Conference on Economics and Computation. Phoenix, AZ, 2019-05-24 - 2019-06-28. https://doi.org/10.1145/3328526.3329578
Sortition is an alternative approach to democracy, in which representatives are not elected but randomly selected from the population. Most electoral democracies fail to accurately represent even a handful of protected groups. By contrast, sortition guarantees that every subset of the population will in expectation fill their fair share of the available positions. This fairness property remains satisfied when the sample is stratified based on known features. Moreover, stratification can greatly reduce the variance in the number of positions filled by any unknown group, as long as this group correlates with the strata. Our main result is that stratification cannot increase this variance by more than a negligible factor, even in the presence of indivisibilities and rounding. When the unknown group is unevenly spread across strata, we give a guarantee on the reduction in variance with respect to uniform sampling. We also contextualize stratification and uniform sampling in the space of fair sampling algorithms. Finally, we apply our insights to an empirical case study.