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The Electoral Effects of Incumbent Wealth

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  • Milyo, Jeffrey
  • Groseclose, Timothy

Abstract

The absence of limits on own-source campaign contributions is widely thought to give wealthy candidates an advantage in congressional elections. We employ a unique data set on the wealth of House incumbents running for reelection in 1992. We find that wealthy incumbents do not raise or spend more campaign funds and do not win greater vote shares in their reelection bids. Further, incumbent wealth does not deter high-quality challengers. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Milyo, Jeffrey & Groseclose, Timothy, 1999. "The Electoral Effects of Incumbent Wealth," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 699-722, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:2:p:699-722
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467439
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Milyo, Jeffrey, 1997. "Electoral and Financial Effects of Changes in Committee Power: The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Budget Reform, the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and the Money Committees in the House," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 93-111, April.
    2. Hersch, Philip L & McDougall, Gerald S, 1994. "Campaign War Chests as a Barrier to Entry in Congressional Races," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 630-641, October.
    3. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-798, August.
    4. John R. Lott JR, 1989. "Explaining Challengers' Campaign Expenditures: the Importance of Sunk Nontransferable Brand Name," Public Finance Review, , vol. 17(1), pages 108-118, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Lott, 2006. "Campaign finance reform and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 263-300, December.
    2. Jin-Hyuk Kim, 2013. "Determinants of post-congressional lobbying employment," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 107-126, May.
    3. Jeffrey Milyo, 2013. "Campaign Spending and Electoral Competition: Towards More Policy Relevant Research," Working Papers 1344, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    4. Thomas Stratmann, 2006. "Contribution limits and the effectiveness of campaign spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 461-474, December.
    5. Le Borgne, Eric & Lockwood, Ben, 2000. "Candidate Entry, Screening, and the Political Budget Cycle," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 582, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Thomas Stratmann, 2003. "Tainted Money? Contribution Limits and the Effectiveness of Campaign Spending," CESifo Working Paper Series 1044, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Thomas Stratmann & Francisco J. & Aparicio-Castillo, 2006. "Competition policy for elections: Do campaign contribution limits matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 177-206, April.

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