Money Talks: The Impact of Citizens United on State Elections
University of Alberta, Department of Economics
Hugo M. Mialon
Emory University - Department of Economics
Michael A. Williams
Competition Economics LLC
August 3, 2012
Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-218
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and labor unions are unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds (Citizens United v. FEC, 2010). In this paper, we test the hypothesis that the decision gave an electoral boost to Republicans, at the expense of Democrats. The 50 U.S. states provide an ideal testing ground for this hypothesis as the ruling only affected a subset of states. We find that Citizens United had a positive and statistically significant effect of approximately two percentage points on the probability of Republicans winning in state legislative elections.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: Citizens United, Independent Expenditures, State Elections, Congressional Races, House, Senate, Republican, Democrat, Contributions, Candidates, Incumbents
JEL Classification: D72, K19working papers series
Date posted: August 3, 2012 ; Last revised: October 3, 2012
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