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Title:Political contributions, voter turnout, and the effects of redistricting
Author(s):Quigley, David
Director of Research:Krasa, Stefan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Krasa, Stefan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bernhardt, Mark D; Hong, Seung-Hyun; Lemus, Jorge
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Contributions
Voter Abstention
Political Campaign Spending
Abstract:Individual contributions to political campaigns are a significant aspect of the political process in the United States. Understanding how the political environment affects these contributions increases the understanding of what drives elections and political campaigns. One aspect of the political environment is that political campaigns for the U.S. Senate overlap with campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives. This may cause individual contributors to substitute a political contribution to one campaign with a political contribution to another campaign. Conversely, individual contributors may see contributions to overlapping campaigns as complements. Individual contributors are also impacted by redistricting which is the redrawing of the geographic boundaries of U.S. Congressional Districts every 10 years after the completion of the U.S. Census. In both these cases, more competitive elections lead to more individual contributions, and the evidence suggests campaign contributions to different political campaigns are complements rather than substitutes. The available political information also affects potential voters and their decision to vote or not to vote. A public signal on candidate quality can decrease voter turnout preventing elections from revealing the private information of potential voters on candidate quality. Finally, political campaigns themselves react to the political environment spending more on advertising and fundraising when they are more significantly impacted by redistricting. By analyzing all these processes, both empirically and theoretically, we can reach a more complete view of how the interactions between political actors generate the important political outcomes that we see.
Issue Date:2019-07-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 David Quigley
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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