The Impact of Campaign Finance Rules on Candidate Selection and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from France

78 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2022 Last revised: 10 Jun 2022

See all articles by Nikolaj Broberg

Nikolaj Broberg

European University Institute

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Clemence Tricaud

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2022

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of campaign finance rules on electoral outcomes. In French departmental and municipal elections, candidates competing in districts above 9,000 inhabitants face spending limits and are eligible for public reimbursement if they obtain more than five percent of the votes. Using an RDD around the population threshold, we find that these rules increase competitiveness and benefit the runner-up of the previous race as well as new candidates, in departmental elections, while leaving the polarization and representativeness of the results unaffected. Incumbents are less likely to get reelected because they are less likely to run and obtain a lower vote share, conditional on running. These results appear to be driven by the reimbursement of campaign expenditures, not spending limits. We do not find such effects in municipal elections, which we attribute to the use of a proportional list system instead of plurality voting.

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Suggested Citation

Broberg, Nikolaj and Pons, Vincent and Tricaud, Clemence, The Impact of Campaign Finance Rules on Candidate Selection and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from France (February 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w29805, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4045383

Nikolaj Broberg (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Clemence Tricaud

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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