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The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014

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  • Yasmine Bekkouche

    (Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics (PSE))

  • Julia Cage

    (Département d'économie)

Abstract

What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types and across political parties? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that successfully deal with the endogeneity of campaign spending. We provide novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We propose two new instruments to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending; they rely on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on campaign funding depending on the source of funding they depend on the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate’s vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the party. In particular, we show that spending by extreme-right candidates has much lower returns than spending by other parties. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of the mechanisms at play.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/2ahul47tb09rvqfl9eelv7o5ca
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira & Allan Drazen, 2018. "A Theory of Small Campaign Contributions," NBER Working Papers 24413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Caroline Le Pennec, 2020. "Strategic Campaign Communication: Evidence from 30,000 Candidate Manifestos," SoDa Laboratories Working Paper Series 2020-05, Monash University, SoDa Laboratories.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elections; Campaign financing; Campaign expenditures; Campaign spending limits; Campaign finance reform; Multiparty electoral data; Heterogeneous effects of campaign spending;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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