Informative and persuasive campaigning

October 1994
Public Choice;Oct94, Vol. 81 Issue 1/2, p55
Academic Journal
In this paper we use a simple Downsian spatial model to analyze the properties of campaign contributions. We first consider campaign contributions that are intended to inform voters of candidate positions. We show that it is difficult to construct arguments in a Downsian spatial model for why some voters would choose to contribute to a candidate and the candidate would want to spend the money contributed to inform voters of his position. We then define persuasive campaign expenditures as those that are intended to convince an individual to vote for a candidate regardless of the candidate's position on issues. In the presence of persuasive campaign expenditures some voters have an incentive to contribute to one or both candidates, and the candidates have an incentive to spend the money. We show why the nature of persuasive campaign expenditures may explain both their growth in recent years and the increasing advantage of incumbency.


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