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The Electoral Effects of Incumbent Wealth

  • Milyo, Jeffrey
  • Groseclose, Timothy

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.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467439
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 699-722

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:2:p:699-722
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. 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 777-98, August.
  2. John R. Lott JR, 1989. "Explaining Challengers' Campaign Expenditures: the Importance of Sunk Nontransferable Brand Name," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 108-118, January.
  3. 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 630-41, October.
  4. 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.
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