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Cafta, Campaign Contributions, And The Role Of Special Interests




This paper analyzes the passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005, paying particular attention to the role of campaign contributions. The CAFTA vote is significant in that the context in which it occurred was one in which campaign contributions were more likely to influence votes. By more carefully identifying the special interest groups actively involved in the CAFTA debate, I provide a more accurate assessment of the impact of the contributions made by these groups. I use instrumental variables to control for the potential endogeneity of campaign contributions and find that these contributions played at best a secondary role in determining the outcome of the CAFTA vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • James M. Devault, 2010. "Cafta, Campaign Contributions, And The Role Of Special Interests," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 282-297, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:3:p:282-297

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. "Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "Are Contributions Rational? Untangling Strategies of Political Action Committees," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 647-664, June.
    4. Stratmann, Thomas, 2002. "Can Special Interests Buy Congressional Votes? Evidence from Financial Services Legislation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 345-373, October.
    5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    6. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes? Or, Do Donors Support Candidates Who Value the Same Things That They Do?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 317-350, October.
    7. Magee, Christopher, 2002. "Do Political Action Committees Give Money to Candidates for Electoral or Influence Motives?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 373-399, September.
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