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Campaign finance regulation with competing interest groups


  • Ujhelyi, Gergely


Regulatory caps on contributions to political campaigns are the cornerstones of campaign finance legislation in many established democracies, and their introduction is considered by most emerging ones. Are these regulations desirable? This paper studies contribution caps in a menu auction lobbying model with limited budgets and costly entry. In the absence of entry, contribution caps improve welfare by "leveling the political playing field". With entry, however, a competition effect and a bargaining effect may arise, resulting in inefficient entry and exit decisions. In particular, a cap may lead to worse policies than the status quo; and even if better policies are chosen, the resulting gain in welfare may be more than offset by the entry costs. Regulation can also lead to the simultaneous entry of competing groups, creating costly rent-seeking on issues previously unaffected by lobbying.

Suggested Citation

  • Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2009. "Campaign finance regulation with competing interest groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 373-391, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:3-4:p:373-391

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petrova, Maria, 2012. "Mass media and special interest groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-38.
    2. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2014. "Equity and effectiveness of optimal taxation in contests under an all-pay auction," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 437-464, February.
    3. Graham Mallard, 2014. "Static Common Agency And Political Influence: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 17-35, February.
    4. Kai Konrad, 2012. "Information alliances in contests with budget limits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 679-693, June.
    5. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2016. "Discrimination in contests: a survey," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 20(2), pages 145-172, June.
    6. repec:kap:theord:v:83:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9587-y is not listed on IDEAS


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