Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Political Contribution Caps and Lobby Formation: Theory and Evidence

Contents:

Author Info

  • Allan Drazen
  • Nuno Limão
  • Thomas Stratman

Abstract

The perceived importance of "special interest group" money in election campaigns motivates widespread use of caps on allowable contributions. We present a bargaining model in which putting a cap that is not too stringent on the size of the contribution a lobby can make improves its bargaining position relative to the politician, thus increasing the payoff from lobbying. Such a cap will therefore increase the equilibrium number of lobbies when lobby formation is endogenous. Caps may then also increase total contributions from all lobbies, increase politically motivated government spending, and lower social welfare. We present empirical evidence from U.S. states consistent with the predictions of the model. We find a positive effect on the number of PACs formed from enacting laws constraining PAC contributions. Moreover, the estimated effect is nonlinear, as predicted by the theoretical model. Very stringent caps reduce the number of PACs, but as the cap increases above a threshold level, the effect becomes positive. Contribution caps in the majority of US states are above this threshold.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10928.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10928.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Drazen, Allan & Limao, Nuno & Stratmann, Thomas, 2007. "Political contribution caps and lobby formation: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 723-754, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10928

Note: EFG POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
  2. Russell Pittman, 1988. "Rent-seeking and market structure: Comment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 173-185, August.
  3. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
  4. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  5. Asghar Zardkoohi, 1988. "Market structure and campaign contributions: Does concentration matter? A reply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 187-191, August.
  6. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  7. Allan Drazen & Nuno Limão & Thomas Stratman, 2004. "Political Contribution Caps and Lobby Formation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Riezman, R. & Wilson, J.D., 1993. "Political Reform and Trade Policy," Working Papers 93-09, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  11. Allan Drazen & Nuno Limão, 2004. "Government Gains from Self-Restraint: A Bargaining Theory of Inefficient Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 10375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Microeconomics 9809003, EconWPA.
  13. Stratmann, Thomas, 1998. "The Market for Congressional Votes: Is Timing of Contributions Everything?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 85-113, April.
  14. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder, 2003. "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?," NBER Working Papers 9409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Theilen Bernd, 2008. "Lobbying and Contract Delegation in Public Procurement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-35, September.
  2. Cotton, Christopher, 2012. "Pay-to-play politics: Informational lobbying and contribution limits when money buys access," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 369-386.
  3. Zudenkova, Galina, 2010. "Sincere Lobby Formation," MPRA Paper 28249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Christopher Cotton, 2010. "Pay-to-Play Politics: Informational lobbying and campaign finance reform when contributions buy access," Working Papers 2010-22, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  5. Allan Drazen & Nuno Limão & Thomas Stratman, 2004. "Political Contribution Caps and Lobby Formation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cotton, Christopher, 2009. "Should we tax or cap political contributions? A lobbying model with policy favors and access," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 831-842, August.
  7. Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2009. "Campaign finance regulation with competing interest groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 373-391, April.
  8. Zudenkova, Galina, 2012. "Lobbying as a Guard against Extremism," Working Papers 2072/184036, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  9. Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2012. "How Category Reporting Can Improve Fundraising," Working Papers in Economics 522, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Pastine, Ivan & Pastine, Tuvana, 2006. "Politician Preferences and Caps on Political Lobbying," CEPR Discussion Papers 5913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Thomas Stratmann, 2005. "Some talk: Money in politics. A (partial) review of the literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 135-156, July.
  12. Peter Grajzl, 2011. "A property rights approach to legislative delegation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 177-200, June.
  13. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2009. "Does category reporting increase donations to charity? A signalling game approach," Studies in Economics 0924, Department of Economics, University of Kent.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10928. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.