IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/12789.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Theory of Small Campaign Contributions

Author

Listed:
  • Bouton, Laurent
  • Castanheira, Micael
  • Drazen, Allan

Abstract

We present a model of electorally-motivated, small campaign contributions. The analysis uncovers interesting interactions among small donors and has novel implications for the effect of income inequality on total contributions and election outcomes. Moreover, it helps explain a number of empirical observations that seem anomalous when contributions are driven by the consumption or the influence motives. We also study the impact of different forms of campaign finance laws on contribution behavior, probabilities of electoral outcomes, and welfare. Our results are consistent with more behaviorally motivated donors when contributions are driven by the parties' strategic solicitation of funds. We also indicate how the model and its results may have important implications for empirical work on campaign contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Drazen, Allan, 2018. "A Theory of Small Campaign Contributions," CEPR Discussion Papers 12789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12789
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12789
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    2. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
    3. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Durante & Brian Knight & Eliana La Ferrara, 2016. "Market-Based Lobbying: Evidence from Advertising Spending in Italy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 224-256, January.
    4. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    5. Kei Kawai, 2013. "Campaign Finance in U.S. House Elections," 2013 Meeting Papers 1158, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Castanheira, Micael, 2003. "Victory margins and the paradox of voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 817-841, November.
    7. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    8. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-651, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Yasmine Bekkouche & Julia Cage, 2018. "The Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014," Working Papers Series 68, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:01:p:33-47_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:03:p:595-609_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The Politics of Randomness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(2), pages 423-433, October.
    14. Katz, Eliakim & Nitzan, Shmuel & Rosenberg, Jacob, 1990. "Rent-Seeking for Pure Public Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 49-60, April.
    15. John Lott, 2006. "Campaign finance reform and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 263-300, December.
    16. 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, September.
    17. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
    18. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:03:p:663-672_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Marina Agranov & Jacob K Goeree & Julian Romero & Leeat Yariv, 2018. "What Makes Voters Turn Out: The Effects of Polls and Beliefs," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 825-856.
    20. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
    21. Chad Kendall & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Trebbi, 2015. "How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 322-353, January.
    22. Thomas Stratmann, 2009. "How prices matter in politics: the returns to campaign advertising," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 357-377, September.
    23. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "Are Contributions Rational? Untangling Strategies of Political Action Committees," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 647-664, June.
    24. repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:01:p:49-61_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. 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.
    26. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2001. "Collective Action and the Group Size Paradox," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 663-672, September.
    28. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Yasmine Bekkouche & Julia Cage, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2019-09, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Campaign Contributions; Campaign Finance Laws; Electoral Motive; Income inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12789. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.