Advertisement

Campaign contributions and policy convergence: asymmetric agents and donations constraints

  • Eric DunawayEmail author
  • Felix Munoz-Garcia
Article
  • 36 Downloads

Abstract

We extend previous work on the role of politically motivated donors who contribute to candidates in an election with single dimension policy preferences. In a two-stage game wherein donors observe candidate policy positions and then allocate funding accordingly, we find that reducing the cost of donations incentivizes candidates to position closer to one another, reducing policy divergence. Furthermore, we find that as donations become more effective at influencing voter decisions, candidates respond less to voter preferences and more to those of donors. In addition, we analyze the presence of asymmetries in the model using numerical analysis techniques. We also extend our model by allowing for public funding from governments. By implementing stringent campaign contribution limits, candidate positions align with voter preferences at the cost of wider policy divergence. In contrast, unlimited campaign contributions lead to candidate positions moving away from voters to donors’ preferences, but increase policy convergence.

Keywords

Asymmetries Policy preferences Policy divergence Donors Political contributions Campaign limits 

JEL Classification

C63 C72 D72 

Notes

References

  1. Adamany, D. (1977). Money, politics, and democracy: A review essay. The American Political Science Review (1927), 71(1), 289–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina, A. (1988). Credibility and policy convergence in a two-party system with rational voters. The American Economic Review, 78(4), 796–805.Google Scholar
  3. Aragonès, E., Postlewaite, A., & Palfrey, T. (2007). Political reputations and campaign promises. Journal of the European Economic Association, 5(4), 846–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Austen-Smith, D. (1987). Interest groups, campaign contributions, and probabilistic voting. Public Choice, 54(2), 123–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ball, R. (1999a). Opposition backlash and platform convergence in a spatial voting model with campaign contributions. Public Choice, 98(3), 269–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ball, R. (1999b). Discontinuity and non-existence of equilibrium in the probabilistic spatial voting model. Social Choice and Welfare, 16(4), 533–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barro, R. (1973). The control of politicians: An economic model. Public Choice, 14(1), 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowen, L. (1994). Time of voting decision and use of political advertising: The Slate Gorton-Brock Adams senatorial campaign. Journalism Quarterly, 71(3), 665–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Calvert, R. (1985). Robustness of the multidimensional voting model: Candidate motivations, uncertainty, and convergence. American Journal of Political Science, 29(1), 69–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coate, S. (2004). Political competition with campaign contributions and informative advertising. Journal of the European Economic Association, 2(5), 772–804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. d’Aspremont, C., & Gabszewicz, J. (1979). On hotelling’s ‘stability in competition’. Econometrica, 47(5), 1145–1150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  13. Evrenk, H., & Kha, D. (2011). Three-candidate spatial competition when candidates have valence: Stochastic voting. Public Choice, 147(3–4), 421–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goldstein, K., & Freedman, P. (2000). New evidence for new arguments: Money and advertising in the 1996 Senate elections. Journal of Politics, 62, 1087–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gordon, B. R., & Hartmann, W. R. (2013). Advertising effects in presidential elections. Marketing Science, 32(1), 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grossman, G., & Helpman, E. (2001). Special interest politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT.Google Scholar
  17. Hare, C., & Poole, K. (2014). The polarization of contemporary American politics. Polity, 46(3), 411–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Herrera, H., Levine, D., & Martinelli, C. (2008). Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation. Journal of Public Economics, 92(3), 501–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hinich, M., & Munger, M. (1994). Ideology and the theory of political choice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hotelling, H. (1929). Stability in competition. The Economic Journal, 39(153), 41–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jacobson, G. (1978). The effects of campaign spending in congressional elections. The American Political Science Review (1927), 72(2), 469–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaid, L. L. (1982). Paid television advertising and candidate name identification. Campaigns and Elections, 3, 34–36.Google Scholar
  23. McKelvey, R. (1975). Policy related voting and electoral equilibrium. Econometrica, 43(5), 815–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Morton, R. (1993). Incomplete information and ideological explanations of platform divergence. American Political Science Review, 87, 382–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ortuno-Ortín, I., & Schultz, C. (2005). Public funding of political parties. Journal of Public Economic Theory, 7(5), 781–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Poole, K., & Rosenthal, H. (1984). The polarization of American politics. The Journal of Politics, 46(4), 1061–1079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shaw, D. R. (1999). The effect of TV ads and candidate appearance on statewide presidential votes. 1988–1996. American Political Science Review, 93, 345–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stratmann, T. (2009). How prices matter in politics: The returns to campaign advertising. Public Choice, 140(3–4), 357–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Welch, W. (1974). The economics of campaign funds. Public Choice, 20(1), 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Welch, W. (1980). The allocation of political monies: Economic interest groups. Public Choice, 35(1), 97–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. West, D. (2005). Air wars: Television advertising in election campaigns, 1952–2004 (4th ed.). Washington: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  32. Wittman, D. (1983). Candidate motivation: A synthesis of alternative theories. The American Political Science Review, 77(1), 142–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zakharov, A., & Sorokin, V. (2014). Policy convergence in a two-candidate probabilistic voting model. Social Choice and Welfare, 43(2), 429–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wabash CollegeCrawfordsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations