The Equilibrium Effects of Campaign Finance Deregulation on US Elections

70 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2021 Last revised: 7 Jul 2024

See all articles by Christian Cox

Christian Cox

University of Arizona - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2, 2023

Abstract

The US Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a major deregulation of campaign finance law. A new type of political action committee emerged, coined the Super PAC, with a relatively unfettered ability to raise money. This led to an unprecedented rise in spending across the general and primary elections. I estimate the influence of Super PACs on Congressional elections with a multi-stage model of political competition. I find that Super PACs have muted equilibrium effects due to political competition but, on average, have helped Republicans. Super PACs slightly increase challenger entry and pressure opposition incumbents to moderate positions.

Keywords: D72, K16, L30, M38

Suggested Citation

Cox, Christian, The Equilibrium Effects of Campaign Finance Deregulation on US Elections (July 2, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3794817 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3794817

Christian Cox (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Economics ( email )

McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

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