Why do We Donate to Political Campaigns? A Study on Political Trust and Social Networks
30 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2010
Does political trust increase the likelihood of political donations in a social network? This paper assesses this question by using two large-n studies (the General Social Survey and National Election Study) to assess the power of political trust in predicting how likely people are to donate to campaigns. The analysis is taken from studies ranging from elections held in 1983 to 2004. The paper finds that although political trust is not a strong predictor of the incidence of campaign donations, that discussion about politics in amongst friends, relatives, and co-workers does indeed encourage campaign donations. This work contributes to the literature on campaign finance by suggesting that the role and dynamics of social networks can possibly affect if and how much people donate to campaigns. Overall, we conclude that while trust does not tell us much, discussion in peer groups can predict political donations.
Keywords: elections, campaign finance
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