Electoral Endorsements and Campaign Contributions
30 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2006 Last revised: 23 Nov 2010
Date Written: April 1, 2009
This paper models information transmission in an electoral campaign. The voters have conflicting policy interests, but they are congruent in their desire to elect a competent politician. They hold private information about the candidates for office, and they use endorsements and campaign contributions to signal their information, so as to advertise their most preferred candidates. Endorsements are cheap talk, but campaign contributions are costly, hence, contributions are stronger signals than endorsements. Therefore, contributions help to transmit information when voter interests are relatively divergent (however, not so much that campaigning is useless).
Keywords: campaign contributions, cheap talk, burned money, incumbency advantage
JEL Classification: D72, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation