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Campaign Advertising and Election Outcomes: Quasi-natural Experiment Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections in Brazil

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  • Bernardo S. Da Silveira
  • João M. P. De Mello

Abstract

Whether campaign advertising influences election outcomes is an open question; a paradox given the amount spent on campaigning in general and TV advertising in particular. We argue that such "absence of documentation" is due to the focus of the empirical literature on the U.S., where the allocation of campaign spending and advertising is decentralized. We explore a quasi-natural experiment that enables us to mitigate the omitted variables and reverse causality problems caused by decentralized allocation. In Brazil, gubernatorial elections work in a two-round system. In the first round, candidates' TV time shares are determined by their coalitions' share of seats in the National Parliament. In the second round, TV time is split equally between the first-round winner and runner-up. Using differences between rounds as a source of variation, we find a large causal effect of TV advertising on election outcomes. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernardo S. Da Silveira & João M. P. De Mello, 2011. "Campaign Advertising and Election Outcomes: Quasi-natural Experiment Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections in Brazil," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 590-612.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:78:y:2011:i:2:p:590-612
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdq012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers 1128, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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    7. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Avis & Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan & Carlos Varjão, "undated". "Money and Politics: The Effects of Campaign Spending Limits on Political Competition and Incumbency Advantage," Textos para discussão 656, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    2. Agelos Delis & Konstantinos Matakos & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2018. "Electoral spillovers in an intertwined world: Brexit effects on the 2016 Spanish vote," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 03-2018, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    3. Christian Ochsner & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Activated History - The Case of the Turkish Sieges of Vienna," CESifo Working Paper Series 6586, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Laura Bianchini & Federico Revelli, 2013. "Green Polities: Urban Environmental Performance and Government Popularity," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 72-90, March.
    5. Danilo P. Souza & Marcos Y. Nakaguma, 2017. "Determinants and Effects of Negative Advertising in Politics," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2017_25, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    6. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:4:p:963-985. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Casas, Agustín & Díaz, Guillermo & Trindade, André, 2017. "Who monitors the monitor? Effect of party observers on electoral outcomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 136-149.
    8. Menezes, Aline, 2017. "Do some electoral systems select better politicians than others? Single- vs dual-ballot elections," MPRA Paper 79370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Abel François & Michael Visser & Lionel Wilner, 2016. "Using Political Financing Reforms to Measure Campaign Spending Effects on Electoral Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 6232, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Ruben Durante & Emilio Gutierrez, 2014. "Political Advertising and Voting Intention: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Ads Viewership," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/26lctatf2u8, Sciences Po.
    11. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira & Allan Drazen, 2018. "A Theory of Small Campaign Contributions," NBER Working Papers 24413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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