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Elections with contribution-maximizing candidates

  • Amihai Glazer

    ()

  • Mark Gradstein

    ()

Analyses of campaign contributions usually follow the Downsian model to suppose that candidates seek contributions to win elections. This paper takes the opposite approach, by assuming that each candidate aims to maximize the contributions he collects. A citizen contributes to a candidate with the aim of increasing that candidate’s chances of winning. These assumptions generate several results: in equilibrium citizens make campaign contributions; the positions the candidates adopt differ; because the rich are willing to make larger contributions than the poor, the candidates adopt positions the rich prefer. A cap on political contributions reduces spending by voters and reduces the distance between the positions adopted by the candidates; public funding of campaign contributions causes aggregate spending to increase. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-7519-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 122 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 467-482

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:122:y:2005:i:3:p:467-482
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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  1. Milyo, Jeffrey, 1997. " The Economics of Political Campaign Finance: FECA and the Puzzle of the Not Very Greedy Grandfathers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 245-70, December.
  2. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017, October.
  3. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  5. Milyo Jeffrey & Primo David & Groseclose Timothy, 2000. "Corporate PAC Campaign Contributions in Perspective," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, April.
  6. Ignacio Ortuno Ortin & Christian Schultz, 2000. "Public Funding of Political Parties," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0735, Econometric Society.
  7. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 2000. "Polarized platforms and moderate policies with checks and balances," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-20, January.
  10. repec:dgr:kubcen:1997118 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
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