Self-funding of Political Campaigns
65 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2016 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 15, 2021
Candidate self-funding, in particular self-loans, is a significant source of funding of political campaigns. Self-funding clusters among non-incumbent campaigns, Republican campaigns and more expensive campaigns. Self-funded campaigns raise less money from individuals and special interests and also spend less. Self-funders are wealthier on average and run in more competitive elections. The analysis of self-funders’ legislative decisions shows that self-funders’ votes, especially those of Republicans, are significantly more sensitive to contributions from special interests that are affected by the votes. The results highlight the importance of considering politicians’ self-funding choices in analyzing voting behavior and the value of political activism.
Keywords: Campaign self-funding; Voting behavior; Political campaigns; Incentives
JEL Classification: D72, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation