The Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014

65 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Yasmine Bekkouche

Yasmine Bekkouche

Sciences Po; PARIS SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Julia Cage

Sciences Po Paris Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

What is the price of a vote? This paper investigates this consequential controversy by analyzing a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We begin by documenting the evolution of campaign finance in France, and show that both the amount and sources of campaign contributions vary widely from one candidate to another, in particular depending on their political party. We then turn to the empirical analysis and tackle a number of empirical challenges. First, we rely on recent methodological innovations to handle the special characteristics of multiparty data. Second, to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending, we propose a new instrument based on a change in legislation. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate's vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the parties and on the sources of campaign funding. According to our estimations, the price of a vote is about 6 euros for the legislative elections, and 32 euros for the municipal ones. Simulations show that small changes in spending patterns and caps can have a large impact on electoral outcomes and seats. Our results suggest that political finance needs to be tightly regulated.

Keywords: Campaign expenditures, Campaign finance reform, Campaign financing, elections, Multiparty electoral data

JEL Classification: D72, H72, P48

Suggested Citation

Bekkouche, Yasmine and Cage, Julia, The Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014 (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12614, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106818

Yasmine Bekkouche (Contact Author)

Sciences Po ( email )

28 Rue des Saint-Peres
Paris, Paris 75006
France

PARIS SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Julia Cage

Sciences Po Paris Department of Economics ( email )

28 Rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, 75007
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
501
PlumX Metrics