Are PACs Trying to Influence Politicians or Voters?
Political Action Committees (PACs) can affect public policies in either of two ways: altering legislators' roll-call voting behavior, or influencing election outcomes. This paper develops a dynamic model demonstrating that the relative importance of the election-influencing channel is easily underestimated. A one-time contribution to a candidate who supports the PAC's position that alters an election outcome yields benefits to the PAC as long as that candidate holds office. In contrast, roll-call vote buying is likely to operate on a quid-pro-quo basis, limiting the PAC's return on investment. Empirical tests based on the theoretical model suggest that PACs value the election-influencing aspect of contributions at least as much as the roll-call vote-buying channel. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998.
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Volume (Year): 10 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
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