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The impact of campaign expenditures on political competition in the French legislative elections of 1993

  • Law
  • Political Science


We use regression analysis to estimate the effect that campaign money had on the votes of challengers and incumbents in the 1993 elections to the French legislative assembly. Incumbent candidates can at best expect to win 1.01% of the popular vote for each extra franc they spend per registered voter in their district. Challengers can expect to win at least twice as much as this. Simulations show that if campaign spending ceilings were halved, incumbents would have gained an extra ten percent of the popular vote over their closest challenging rivals. The regression analysis also suggests that voters react negatively to candidates who rely heavily on their own money for their outlays and reward candidates who rely on contributions from private individuals. These results suggest that campaign spending ceilings may inhibit political competition, and that voters may resist a candidate who relies on narrow sources of funding. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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