The Influence of Campaign Contribution Disclosure on Voter Support for Tax Initiatives: Evidence From Washington’s ‘Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018’
27 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 5, 2020
We evaluate the influence of campaign contribution disclosures on support for a tax-oriented ballot initiative. Specifically, we examine the extent that voters decrease support for Washington State Initiative 1634—an initiative banning new or increased taxes on groceries—after being presented a table that discloses the major contributors behind the campaigns for and against the initiative. Using responses collected from 147 potential Washington voters during the week preceding the November 2018 election, we find decreased support for Initiative 1634 when respondents are shown a table of campaign donors and their contributions. We further learn that this contribution disclosure effect depends on the content of narrative arguments made by the opposition campaign.
Keywords: disclosure; tax policy; tax initiatives; campaign finance disclosure
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