The Business of American Democracy: Citizens United, Independent Spending, and Elections

55 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2013 Last revised: 12 Apr 2016

See all articles by Tilman Klumpp

Tilman Klumpp

University of Alberta, Department of Economics

Hugo M. Mialon

Emory University - Department of Economics

Michael A. Williams

Competition Economics LLC

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

In Citizens United v. FEC (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and labor unions are unconstitutional. We analyze the effects of Citizens United on state election outcomes. We find that Citizens United is associated with an increase in Republican election probabilities in state House races of approximately four percentage points overall and ten or more percentage points in several states. We link these estimates to “on the ground” evidence of significant spending by corporations through channels enabled by Citizens United. We also explore the effects of Citizens United on reelection rates, candidate entry, and direct contributions. Implications for national elections and economic policy are discussed.

Keywords: Citizens United, independent expenditures, business, labor unions, parties, elections, campaign finance, direct contributions, candidate entry, democracy

JEL Classification: D72, K19

Suggested Citation

Klumpp, Tilman and Mialon, Hugo M. and Williams, Michael A., The Business of American Democracy: Citizens United, Independent Spending, and Elections (October 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2312519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2312519

Tilman Klumpp

University of Alberta, Department of Economics ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

Hugo M. Mialon (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )

1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Michael A. Williams

Competition Economics LLC ( email )

2000 Powell Street
Suite 510
Emeryville, CA 94608
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
237
rank
126,794
Abstract Views
1,144
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information