Does Campaign Spending Affect Electoral Outcomes?

47 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2012  

Avi Ben-Bassat

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Momi Dahan

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - School of Public Policy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Esteban F. Klor

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of candidates’ expenditure on elections’ results focusing on run-off elections’ data. Our analysis, based on all the available run-off municipal elections in Israel between 1993 and 2008, shows that candidates’ share of the vote is not substantially affected by their campaign spending. The effect is not substantial even though campaign expenditures in local elections is considerable, averaging $11 per constituent. This outcome contradicts recent results in the related literature showing that, in a developing country where voting is compulsory, campaign expenditures have a significant effect on vote shares. Yet, it is in line with the evidence of earlier studies based on developed countries showing that the effect of campaign spending is limited. This leads us to suggest that campaign spending is effective in developing countries because compulsory voting forces the relative poor population to turn out and vote, and this population is relatively more impressionable by campaign spending on media advertisements.

Keywords: Campaign Spending, Electoral Outcomes, Quasi-Natural Experiment

JEL Classification: D72, C33

Suggested Citation

Ben-Bassat, Avi and Dahan, Momi and Klor, Esteban F., Does Campaign Spending Affect Electoral Outcomes? (October 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2159209 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2159209

Avi Ben-Bassat

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel

Momi Dahan

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - School of Public Policy ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem 91905
Israel
972-2-5883709 (Phone)
972-2-5880047 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Esteban F. Klor (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3143 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/klor/klor.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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