Competition policy for elections: Do campaign contribution limits matter?

Stratmann, Thomas; J. Aparicio-Castillo, Francisco
April 2006
Public Choice;Apr2006, Vol. 127 Issue 1/2, p177
Academic Journal
This paper examines whether campaign contribution restrictions have consequences for election outcomes. States are a natural laboratory to examine this issue. We analyze elections to Assemblies from 1980 to 2001 and determine whether candidates' vote shares are altered by changes in state campaign contribution restrictions. We find that limits on giving narrow the margin of victory of the winning candidate. Limits lead to closer elections for future incumbents, but have less effect on the margin of victory of incumbents who passed the campaign finance legislation. We also find some evidence that contribution limits increase the number of candidates in the race.


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