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Leveling the Playing Field: How Campaign Advertising Can Help Non-Dominant Parties

Author

Listed:
  • Horacio A. Larreguy
  • John Marshall
  • James M. Snyder, Jr.

Abstract

Voters are often uncertain about and biased against non-dominant political parties. By reducing the information gap with dominant parties, political advertising may thus disproportionately benefit non-dominant parties electorally. We test this argument in Mexico, where three main parties dominate many localities. To identify the effects of exposure to partisan advertising, we exploit differences across neighboring precincts in campaign ad distributions arising from cross-state media coverage spillovers induced by a 2007 reform that equalized access to ad slots across all broadcast media. Our results show that ads on AM radio increase the vote shares of the PAN and PRD, but not the previously-hegemonic PRI. Consistent with our model, campaign advertising is most effective in poorly informed and politically uncompetitive electoral precincts, and against locally dominant parties of intermediate strength.

Suggested Citation

  • Horacio A. Larreguy & John Marshall & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2016. "Leveling the Playing Field: How Campaign Advertising Can Help Non-Dominant Parties," NBER Working Papers 22949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22949
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22949.pdf
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    2. Leopoldo Fergusson & Juan F. Vargas & Mauricio A. Vela, 2013. "Sunlight Disinfects? Free Media in Weak Democracies," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010487, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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    4. Jörg L. Spenkuch & David Toniatti, 2016. "Political Advertising and Election Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 5780, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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