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The Iceberg Theory of Campaign Contributions: Political Threats and Interest Group Behavior

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  • Marcos Chamon
  • Ethan Kaplan

Abstract

We present a model where special interest groups condition contributions on the receiving candidate's support and also her opponent's. This allows interest groups to obtain support from contributions as well as from threats of contributing. Out-of-equilibrium contributions help explain the missing money puzzle. Our framework contradicts standard models in predicting that interest groups give to only one side of a race. We also predict that special interest groups will mainly target lopsided winners, whereas general interest groups will contribute mainly to candidates in close races. We verify these predictions in FEC data for US House elections from 1984-1990. (JEL D72)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:1-31

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.1.1
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Cited by:
  1. Campante, Filipe, 2007. "Redistribution in a Model of Voting and Campaign Contributions," Working Paper Series rwp07-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Thomas Bassetti & Filippo Pavesi, 2012. "Deep Pockets, Extreme Preferences: Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Contributions," Working Papers 222, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2012.

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