Do Campaign Finance Policies Really Improve Voters' Welfare?
AbstractIn an electoral race, interest groups will be willing to finance political candidates’ campaigns in return for favors that are costly to voters. Starting from the empirical observation of split contributions, we develop a theoretical model of directly informative campaign advertising with rational voters. In this setting, interest groups that demand more favors are less likely to finance candidates to enhance their electoral prospects. We find that the only feasible Pareto improving policy involves providing specific limits and subsidies to each candidate. Unfortunately, this policy is very demanding in terms of information for the policy maker and always involves candidates providing favors to interest groups. We argue that bans on contributions without public subsidies may not be welfare improving, since they negatively affect the informational value of advertisements.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 209.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision: Apr 2011
Campaign Finance; Interest Groups; Elections; Welfare;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Prat, Andrea, 1999.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van, 1997.
"Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements. The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behaviour,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73909, Tilburg University.
- 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.
- Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van, 1997. "Campaign Expenditures, Contributions and Direct Endorsements: The Strategic Use of Information and Money to Influence Voter Behavior," Discussion Paper 1997-27, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002.
"Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998.
Levine's Working Paper Archive
237, David K. Levine.
- Christian Schultz, 2003.
"Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
858, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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.
- Prat, A., 1998. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies," Discussion Paper 1998-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Thomas Stratmann, 2009. "How prices matter in politics: the returns to campaign advertising," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 357-377, September.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roberto Reale).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.