Funding Asymmetries in Electoral Competition: How important is a level playing field?
I investigate the idea that campaign spending limits may help to level the playing field in electoral competition between parties who have unequal access to campaign funds. The model assumes that the supporters of one party are on average wealthier than those who support a competing party. Contributions are used to finance advertisements that truthfully reveal information about the quality of candidates. Voters update their beliefs rationally based on information revealed during the campaign. Rational beliefs are shown to compensate for funding asymmetries in equilibrium. As a result, asymmetries in access to funds do not bias the electoral outcome from an ex ante perspective. A limit on campaign expenditures does not affect the relative chances of the two parties, while leading to unintended negative consequences. I conclude that the level playing field argument in support of expenditure limitations is inconsistent with the key assumptions of the analysis and offer some suggestions for future research.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrea Prat, 2002.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
- Prat, A., 1997. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Discussion Paper 1997-118, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Prat, Andrea, 1999. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 2152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
- Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
- Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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, 09.
- Stephen Coate, 2001. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," NBER Working Papers 8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0402002. 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: (EconWPA)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.