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Campaign finance reform and electoral competition

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  • John Lott

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    Abstract

    Using state senate data from 1984 through the beginning of 2002, this paper finds that campaign donation regulations clearly reduce the competitiveness in political races. This is reflected in several dimensions. Conservative estimates indicate that different donation limits are associated with anywhere from a 4 to over a 23 percentage point increase in win margins. The regulations increase the probability that only one candidate will run for office. And they increase the probability that incumbents win re-election. Campaign finance regulations also tend to reduce the number of candidates who run for office by an average of about 20 percent. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-006-9028-x
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 129 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 263-300

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:129:y:2006:i:3:p:263-300

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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    1. Snyder, James M, Jr, 1992. "Long-Term Investing in Politicians; or, Give Early, Give Often," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 15-43, April.
    2. Kau, James B & Keenan, Donald & Rubin, Paul H, 1982. "A General Equilibrium Model of Congressional Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 271-93, May.
    3. Jeffrey Milyo, 1997. "The economics of political campaign finance: FECA and the puzzle of the not very greedy grandfathers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 245-270, December.
    4. Crain, W Mark & Tollison, Robert D, 1977. "Attenuated Property Rights and the Market for Governors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 205-11, April.
    5. Daniel, Kermit & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. " Term Limits and Electoral Competitiveness: Evidence from California's State Legislative Races," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 90(1-4), pages 165-84, March.
    6. Stephen G. Bronars & John R. Lott Jr., 1995. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes?," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 118, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    7. Crain, W Mark & Oakley, Lisa K, 1995. "The Politics of Infrastructure," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-17, April.
    8. Peltzman, Sam, 1980. "The Growth of Government," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 209-87, October.
    9. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "Are Contributions Rational? Untangling Strategies of Political Action Committees," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 647-64, June.
    10. Dick, Andrew R. & Lott, John Jr., 1993. "Reconciling voters' behavior with legislative term limits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-14, January.
    11. Bender, Bruce, 1988. "An Analysis of Congressional Voting on Legislation Limiting Congressional Campaign Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1005-21, October.
    12. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
    13. Crain, W Mark & Leavens, Donald R & Tollison, Robert D, 1986. "Final Voting in Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 833-41, September.
    14. Thomas Stratmann & Francisco J. & Aparicio-Castillo, 2006. "Competition policy for elections: Do campaign contribution limits matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 177-206, April.
    15. Lott, John R, Jr, 1990. "An Explanation for Public Provision of Schooling: The Importance of Indoctrination," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 199-231, April.
    16. Crain, William Mark & Tollison, Robert D, 1976. "Campaign Expenditures and Political Competition," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 177-88, April.
    17. Milyo, Jeffrey & Groseclose, Timothy, 1999. "The Electoral Effects of Incumbent Wealth," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 699-722, October.
    18. Hersch, Philip L & McDougall, Gerald S, 1994. "Campaign War Chests as a Barrier to Entry in Congressional Races," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 630-41, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, 2013. "Political Competition, Political Donations, Economic Policy and Growth," Discussion Papers 13/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. J├╝rgen Huber & Michael Kirchler, 2013. "Corporate campaign contributions and abnormal stock returns after presidential elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 285-307, July.

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