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Money Talks: The Impact of Citizens United on State Elections

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Author Info

  • Klumpp, Tilman

    ()
    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Mialon, Hugo

    ()
    (Emory University)

  • Williams, Michael

    ()
    (Competition Economics)

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and labor unions are unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds (Citizens United v. FEC, 2010). In this paper, we test the hypothesis that the decision gave an electoral boost to Republicans, at the expense of Democrats. The 50 states provide an ideal testing ground for this hypothesis. The ruling only affected a subset of states since the majority of states already had no restrictions on independent expenditures, allowing us to obtain difference-in-differences estimates of the short term effects of the ruling on electoral advantage. We find that Citizens United had a positive and statistically significant effect of approximately seven percentage points on the probability of Republicans winning in state congressional elections.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-18.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2012
Date of revision: 01 Sep 2012
Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2012_018

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Keywords: Citizens United; independent expenditures; state elections; congressional races; campaign contributions; campaign finance;

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  1. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  2. Thomas Stratmann & Francisco J. & Aparicio-Castillo, 2006. "Competition policy for elections: Do campaign contribution limits matter?," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 177-206, April.
  3. Thomas Stratmann & Francisco Aparicio-Castillo, 2007. "Campaign finance reform and electoral competition: Comment," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 107-110, October.
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