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

See all articles by Beau Grant Barnes

Beau Grant Barnes

Washington State University

Jeffrey Gramlich

Carson College of Business

Jonathan Lee

Washington State University

Date Written: February 5, 2020

Abstract


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

Suggested Citation

Barnes, Beau Grant and Gramlich, Jeffrey and Lee, Jonathan, The Influence of Campaign Contribution Disclosure on Voter Support for Tax Initiatives: Evidence From Washington’s ‘Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018’ (February 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532703 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3532703

Beau Grant Barnes (Contact Author)

Washington State University ( email )

Pullman, WA 99164
United States

Jeffrey Gramlich

Carson College of Business ( email )

Wilson Rd.
College of Business
Pullman, WA 99164
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.wsu.edu/research-faculty/institutes/hoops-institute/

Jonathan Lee

Washington State University ( email )

Pullman, WA 99164
United States
5093358542 (Phone)

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