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    Incumbency advantage and political campaign spending limits

    Pastine, Ivan and Pastine, Tuvana (2012) Incumbency advantage and political campaign spending limits. Journal of Public Economics, 96. pp. 20-33. ISSN 0047-2727

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    This paper presents a model which captures the three main arguments for and against campaign spending limits. Campaign spending limits are purported to restrict the incumbent's ability to exploit his fundraising advantage. In contrast to conventional wisdom, a ceiling increases the incumbent's probability of victory regardless of the candidates' relative fundraising abilities as long as the challenger is not more effective in campaign spending. If the challenger is more effective in campaign spending, ceilings have a non-monotonic effect when the incumbent enjoys a mild initial voter disposition advantage; A moderate ceiling decreases the incumbent's probability of victory but further restricting the limit favors the incumbent. Irrespective of incumbency status, the marginal benefit to quality decreases with a more restrictive cap. In an open-seat contest, a more restrictive limit improves the electoral prospects of the superior quality candidate. Stricter ceilings may lead to the unintended consequence of increased expected spending.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Campaign finance legislation; Spending cap; Expenditure limit; Preferential treatment all-pay auction; Contest; Head-start advantage;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Finance and Accounting
    Item ID: 5015
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Tuvana Pastine
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 14:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Public Economics
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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