Economics at your fingertips  

Campaign Finance and Voter Welfare with Entrenched Incumbents

Scott Ashworth

American Political Science Review, 2006, vol. 100, issue 1, 55-68

Abstract: Two candidates compete for elective office. Each candidate has information she would like to reveal to the voters, but this requires costly advertising. The candidates can solicit contributions from interest groups to finance such advertising. These contributions are secured by promises to perform favors for the contributors, should the candidate win the election. Voters understand this and elect the candidate they like best, taking into account their expectations about promises to special interests. There is an incumbency advantage in fundraising, which is sometimes so great that the incumbent faces no serious opposition at all. Introducing partial public financing through matching funds improves voter welfare in districts that have advertising under the decentralized system, while it can reduce welfare in other districts. The optimal policy must strike a balance between these two effects.

Date: 2006
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (28) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) ... type/journal_article link to article abstract page (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in American Political Science Review from Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Keith Waters ().

Page updated 2020-02-21
Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:01:p:55-68_06