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Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting

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  • David Austen-Smith

Abstract

This essay develops a simple model to analyze the impact of campaign contributions on electoral-policy decisions of candidates for office. Interest groups here are firms that select contributions under the assumption that candidates' policies and opposing groups' donations remain unaltered. Candidates, however, recognize that their policy choices affect contributions. Campaign contributions are used by candidates to affect policy-oriented voters' perceptions of candidates' positions. In this framework the introduction of campaign contributions may affect candidates' electoral policies, and if they do then they benefit surely exactly one of the two interest groups. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Suggested Citation

  • David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:54:y:1987:i:2:p:123-139
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00123002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Chamberlin, 1978. "A collective goods model of pluralist political systems," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 97-113, December.
    2. Enelow,James M. & Hinich,Melvin J., 1984. "The Spatial Theory of Voting," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521275156, December.
    3. Shepsle, Kenneth A., 1972. "The Strategy of Ambiguity: Uncertainty and Electoral Competition," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 555-568, June.
    4. William Welch, 1974. "The economics of campaign funds," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 83-97, December.
    5. W. Welch, 1980. "The allocation of political monies: Economic interest groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 97-120, January.
    6. Hinich, Melvin J. & Ledyard, John O. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1972. "Nonvoting and the existence of equilibrium under majority rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 144-153, April.
    7. David Austen-Smith, 1981. "Party policy and campaign costs in a multi-constituency model of electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 389-402, January.
    8. Uri Ben-Zion & Zeev Eytan, 1974. "On money, votes, and policy in a democratic society," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-10, March.
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