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Policy Watch: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform

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  • Steven D. Levitt

Abstract

While campaign finance reform attracts a lot of attention, it seems unlikely that such reform, at least in it current guise, will have a large impact on the functioning of the American political system. Recent studies have called into question the conventional wisdom that challenger campaign spending is especially effective, suggesting that attempts to close the gap between incumbent and challenger spending will have a smaller-than-expected impact on election outcomes. While it is safe to conclude that PACs wield some influence, it is not clear that limiting cash contributions will have a substantial effect.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.1.183
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 183-193

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:1:p:183-93

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.1.183
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  1. Snyder, James M, Jr, 1990. "Campaign Contributions as Investments: The U.S. House of Representatives, 1980-1986," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1195-1227, December.
  2. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-98, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
  2. Riccardo Puglisi & Andrea Prat & James Snyder, 2006. "Is private campaign finance a good thing? estimates of the potential informational benefits," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10393, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2005. "Favors for Sale: Strategic Analysis of a Simple Menu Auction with Adverse Selection," IDEI Working Papers 361, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Corinna Ahlfeld, 2010. "Reputation Sells -Compensation Payments in the Political Sphere," Departmental Discussion Papers 145, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  5. Christopher Magee, 2000. "Why Do Political Action Committees Give Money to Candidates? Campaign Contributions, Policy Choices, and Election Outcomes," Macroeconomics 0004038, EconWPA.
  6. Ivan Pastine & Tuvana Pastine, 2009. "Caps on Political Contributions, Monetary Penalties and Politician Preferences," Working Papers 200912, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Elena Panova, 2007. "Congruence Among Voters and Contributions to Political Campaigns," Cahiers de recherche 0722, CIRPEE.

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