Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 1 (Winter 1995)


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Policy Watch: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform

Article Citation

Levitt, Steven D. 1995. "Policy Watch: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(1): 183-193.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.1.183


While campaign finance reform attracts a lot of attention, it seems unlikely that such reform, at least in it current guise, will have a large impact on the functioning of the American political system. Recent studies have called into question the conventional wisdom that challenger campaign spending is especially effective, suggesting that attempts to close the gap between incumbent and challenger spending will have a smaller-than-expected impact on election outcomes. While it is safe to conclude that PACs wield some influence, it is not clear that limiting cash contributions will have a substantial effect.

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Levitt, Steven D. (Harvard Society of Fellows and NBER)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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