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Matching Funds in Public Campaign Finance

  • Klumpp, Tilman

    ()

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Mialon, Hugo

    ()

    (Emory University)

  • Williams, Michael

    ()

    (Competition Economics)

Matching provisions in state clean elections acts have been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds (Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, 2011). By modeling political speech as a costly advertising activity in an electoral contest, we show that matching funds can indeed decrease speech by privately funded candidates. Moreover, the state can undo any restrictions on matching programs imposed by courts, and replicate the equilibria under a matching program, by adopting an appropriately chosen lumpsum funding scheme. We also evaluate the validity of two specific arguments made by the Supreme Court in its Arizona decision, finding that one is incorrect and one is correct within the context of our model. Lastly, we provide preliminary evidence that the Arizona ruling has in fact increased private spending and increased the number of candidates per election race.

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File URL: http://www.ualberta.ca/~econwps/2012/wp2012-20.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-20.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2012_020
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Web page: http://www.economics.ualberta.ca/

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  1. Tilman Klumpp, 2011. "Populism, Partisanship, and the Funding of Political Campaigns," Emory Economics 1107, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. Prat, Andrea & Puglisi, Riccardo & Snyder, James M., 2010. "Is Private Campaign Finance a Good Thing? Estimates of the Potential Informational Benefits," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(3), pages 291-318, December.
  3. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
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