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Contribution Limits and Transparency in a Campaign Finance Experiment

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Authors

Shapiro, Dmitry; Zillante, Arthur

Issue Date
2017-07
Publisher
Southern Economic Association
Citation
Southern Economic Journal, Vol.84 No.1, pp.98-119
Abstract
We experimentally compare electoral outcomes when donor contribution limits are varied. The effect of contribution limits is studied under three levels of transparency: one where donors' preferences and donations are unobserved by the candidate and public; one where they are observed by the candidate but not the public; and one where they are observed by all. We find that a combination of stricter contribution limits and full transparency is most successful at limiting donors' influence on policy choice. We also find that stricter contribution limits improve social welfare in some treatments. We further find that the partial and no anonymity settings lead to "centrist bias," whereby implemented policies, on average, are more centrist than the candidate's preferences in most treatments.
ISSN
0038-4038
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/202045
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/soej.12220
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Research Area Applied Microeconomic Theory, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Development Economics

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