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Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising

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  • Stephen Coate

    (Cornell University,)

Abstract

This paper presents a theory of political competition with campaign contributions and informa-tive political advertising. Policy-motivated parties compete by selecting candidates and interest groups provide contributions to enhance the electoral prospects of like-minded candidates. Con-tributions are used to finance advertising campaigns that provide voters with information about candidates' ideologies. Voters update their beliefs rationally given the information they have received. The paper uses the theory to analyze the welfare economics of contribution limits. Such limits are shown to redistribute welfare from ordinary citizens to members of interest groups. (JEL: D72, H40) Copyright (c) 2004 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (09)
Pages: 772-804

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:5:p:772-804

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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' initiatives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
  4. Ignacio Ortuno Ortin & Christian Schultz, 2000. "Public Funding of Political Parties," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0735, Econometric Society.
  5. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  7. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  9. Rebecca Morton & Charles Cameron, 1992. "Elections And The Theory Of Campaign Contributions: A Survey And Critical Analysis," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 79-108, 03.
  10. 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.
  11. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
  12. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
  13. David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
  14. Nelson, Phillip, 1976. "Political Information," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 315-36, August.
  15. Roger Congleton, 1986. "Rent-seeking aspects of political advertising," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 249-263, January.
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