Is private campaign finance a good thing? estimates of the potential informational benefits
AbstractWhat would happen if the current U.S. campaign finance system, mostly based on private donations, were replaced by a public funding scheme of the same magnitude? Some argue that public funding would deprive voters of useful information, but this can only be true if private donations are somehow targeted to "better" candidates. In this paper, we ask what voters can learn about the "effectiveness" of a legislator from the amount and pattern of contributions received during the campaign. We find that the total amount that a candidate receives is a positive, but weak, predictor of that candidate's effectiveness. Small contributions provide a strong and positive signal of effectiveness, while large contributions are a negative signal of effectiveness. Contributions from organizations also provide a positive signal, while contributions from individuals, parties, and candidates themselves do not.
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 ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/10393.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: The Journal of Law and Economics (2006)
Other versions of this item:
- Prat, Andrea & Puglisi, Riccardo & Snyder, James M., 2010. "Is Private Campaign Finance a Good Thing? Estimates of the Potential Informational Benefits," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(3), pages 291-318, December.
- Andrea Prat & Riccardo Puglisi & James Snyder, 2005. "Is Private Campaign Finance a Good Thing? Estimates of the Potential Informational Benefits," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000960, David K. Levine.
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.:
- Andrea Prat, 2002.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
- 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,"
1997-27, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- 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 behaviour," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73909, Tilburg University.
- 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.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Policy Watch: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 183-193, Winter.
- Prat, A., 1998.
"Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies,"
1998-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- 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.
- Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
- 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.
- Weingast, Barry R. & Wittman, Donald, 2008. "The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199548477.
- Leopoldo Fergusson, 2012.
"Media Markets, Special Interests, and Voters,"
009796, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
- Elena Panova, 2007. "Congruence Among Voters and Contributions to Political Campaigns," Cahiers de recherche 0722, CIRPEE.
- Amit Gandhi & Daniela Iorio & Carly Urban, 2010. "Negative Advertising and Political Competition," Working Papers 623, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Klumpp, Tilman & Mialon, Hugo & Williams, Michael, 2012. "Matching Funds in Public Campaign Finance," Working Papers 2012-20, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
- Brendan Daley & Erik Snowberg, 2007. "A MultiDimensional Signaling Model of Campaign Finance," Discussion Papers 06-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.