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Presidential Campaign Expenditures: Evidence on Allocations and Effects

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  • Nagler, Jonathan
  • Leighley, Jan
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the impact of presidential campaign spending on election results. Analyses of expenditures and voting are often plagued by simultaneity between campaign spending and expected vote share. However, game-theoretic models of resource-allocation decisions made by a central actor (i.e., a presidential campaign) suggest that candidates will spend more in close races and in races likely to be pivotal. The authors provide empirical support for this theory; using Federal Communications Commission data from the 1972 presidential election, they find that expenditures were higher in states where the election was expected to be closer and in states likely to be pivotal. They use these two factors as instruments in a two-stage least squares model to estimate the effect of spending on votes. They find that, contrary to previous theory and research, presidential campaign spending significantly increases a candidates's vote share. Copyright 1992 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

    Volume (Year): 73 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 319-33

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:73:y:1992:i:3:p:319-33

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Strömberg, David, 2002. "Optimal Campaigning in Presidential Elections: The Probability of Being Florida," CEPR Discussion Papers 3372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Nick Bloom & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler & John Van Reenen, 2010. "The impact of competition on management quality: evidence from public hospitals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28731, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Epstein, Gil S., 2000. "Personal productivity and the likelihood of electoral success of political candidates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 95-111, March.
    4. Strömberg, David, 2002. "Optimal Campaigning in Presidential Elections: The Probability of Being Florida," Seminar Papers 706, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner & Tobias Schulz, 2005. "Expected Closeness or Mobilisation: Why Do Voters Go to the Polls? Empirical Results for Switzerland, 1981 – 1999," CESifo Working Paper Series 1387, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Valentino Larcinese & James M. Snyder, Jr. & Cecilia Testa, 2006. "Testing Models Of Distributive Politicsusing Exit Polls To Measure Voterpreferences And Partisanship," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 19, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    7. Gil Epstein & Raphaël Franck, 2007. "Campaign resources and electoral success: Evidence from the 2002 French parliamentary elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 469-489, June.

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