IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/prirpe/06-21-2007.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Electoral Contests, Incumbency Advantages and Campaign Finance

Author

Listed:
  • Meirowitz, Adam

    (Princeton U)

Abstract

Most campaigns do not revolve around policy commitments; instead, we think of campaigns as contests in which candidates spend time, energy and money to win. This paper develops models of electoral competition in which candidates select levels of effort. The analysis offers insights into which possible causes of the incumbency advantage are consistent with the empirical record. Marginal asymmetries in costs or technology can explain the advantage; asymmetries in voter preferences cannot. The analysis also speaks to the consequences of campaign finance reform. Reforms can be interpreted as shocks to the cost of influencing voter's perceptions; limits generally increase the likelihood that advantaged incumbents win, and even limits that target incumbents do not actually improve the welfare of disadvantaged challengers. Alternativel,y caps on the amount of effort can either increase or decrease the probability that the disadvantaged candidate wins. Either type of reform lowers voter welfare. Finally, while extant models with fixed valence typically do not generate Fiorina's long-studied marginality hypothesis (that stronger candidates would locate at less centrist polices) extensions to the model with endogenous policy platforms and effort offer more refined and conditional versions of the hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Meirowitz, Adam, 2006. "Electoral Contests, Incumbency Advantages and Campaign Finance," Papers 06-21-2007, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:prirpe:06-21-2007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.140.5477&rep=rep1&type=pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    2. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
    3. David Austen-Smith, 1987. "Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 123-139, January.
    4. Herrera, Helios & Levine, David K. & Martinelli, César, 2008. "Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 501-513, April.
    5. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    6. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    7. Dix, Manfred & Santore, Rudy, 2002. "Candidate ability and platform choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-194, July.
    8. Adam Meirowitz & Alan E. Wiseman, 2005. "Contributions And Elections With Network Externalities," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 77-110, March.
    9. Alan E. Wiseman, 2006. "A Theory of Partisan Support and Entry Deterrence in Electoral Competition," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 18(2), pages 123-158, April.
    10. David P. Baron, 1989. "Service-Induced Campaign Contributions and the Electoral Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 45-72.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:57:y:1963:i:02:p:368-377_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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:ecl:prirpe:06-21-2007. 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: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rppprus.html .

    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.