Advertising Effects in Presidential Elections

Stanford Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2080

Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 12/33

41 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2011 Last revised: 25 Aug 2012

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 21, 2012

Abstract

Presidential elections provide both an important context in which to study advertising and a setting that mitigates the challenges of dynamics and endogeneity. We use the 2000 and 2004 general elections to analyze the effect of market-level advertising on county-level vote shares. The results indicate significant positive effects of advertising exposures. Both instrumental variables and fixed effects alter the ad coefficient. Advertising elasticities are smaller than are typical for branded goods, yet significant enough to shift election outcomes. For example, if advertising were set to zero and all other factors held constant, three states' electoral votes would have changed parties in 2000. Given the narrow margin of victory in 2000, this shift would have resulted in a different president.

Keywords: advertising, politics, instrumental variables, presidential elections

Suggested Citation

Gordon, Brett R. and Hartmann, Wesley R., Advertising Effects in Presidential Elections (August 21, 2012). Stanford Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2080; Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 12/33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881244

Brett R. Gordon

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Wesley R. Hartmann (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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