Competition Policy for Elections: Do Campaign Contribution Limits Matter?

41 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2001

See all articles by Thomas Stratmann

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Francisco Javier Aparicio

CIDE

Date Written: June 2001

Abstract

Theoretically, campaign contribution restrictions can either lead to closer elections or amount to incumbent protection devices. States are a natural laboratory to examine the effect of contribution restrictions on election outcomes. We analyze elections to the state Houses from 1980 to 1999 and determine whether candidates's vote shares are altered by changes in state campaign contribution restrictions. We find that limits on giving lowers future incumbents' vote shares but have little effect on the vote shares of incumbents who passed the campaign finance legislation. Stricter contribution limits also draw more candidates into the race, narrowing the margin of victory and leading to more incumbent defeats.

Keywords: Campaign Finance, Elections

Suggested Citation

Stratmann, Thomas and Aparicio, Francisco J, Competition Policy for Elections: Do Campaign Contribution Limits Matter? (June 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=274470 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.274470

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/thomas-stratmann

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Francisco J Aparicio

CIDE ( email )

Carretera Mexico Toluca 3655
Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
Mexico City, Mexico 01210
Mexico

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