Does money have a conservative bias? Estimating the causal impact of Citizens United on state legislative preferences

Anna Harvey, Taylor Mattia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent work has suggested that the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United (2010), eliminating restrictions on independent campaign expenditures, increased the election probabilities of Republican state legislative candidates (Klumpp et al. in J Law Econ 59(1):1–43, 2016). Left unexplored has been whether the Court’s ruling in Citizens United increased not only the number of Republican state legislators, but also the conservatism of their estimated policy preferences, net of any effects on election probabilities. We attempt to distinguish between the possible electoral and preference effects of Citizens United. Our estimates consistently suggest that Citizens United led not only to greater likelihoods of election for Republican state legislative candidates, but also to larger within-district increases in their conservatism. The estimates, which are robust to a series of matching and placebo exercises, may provide support for the claim that more money in elections has contributed to greater conservatism among state-level Republican officeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPublic Choice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

money
conservatism
election
citizen
trend
candidacy
Supreme Court
expenditures
campaign
district
Law
Elections
Conservatism

Keywords

  • Campaign finance
  • Citizens United
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

@article{e6319f275c824e0b81f594b02d8dd0c4,
title = "Does money have a conservative bias? Estimating the causal impact of Citizens United on state legislative preferences",
abstract = "Recent work has suggested that the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United (2010), eliminating restrictions on independent campaign expenditures, increased the election probabilities of Republican state legislative candidates (Klumpp et al. in J Law Econ 59(1):1–43, 2016). Left unexplored has been whether the Court’s ruling in Citizens United increased not only the number of Republican state legislators, but also the conservatism of their estimated policy preferences, net of any effects on election probabilities. We attempt to distinguish between the possible electoral and preference effects of Citizens United. Our estimates consistently suggest that Citizens United led not only to greater likelihoods of election for Republican state legislative candidates, but also to larger within-district increases in their conservatism. The estimates, which are robust to a series of matching and placebo exercises, may provide support for the claim that more money in elections has contributed to greater conservatism among state-level Republican officeholders.",
keywords = "Campaign finance, Citizens United, Polarization",
author = "Anna Harvey and Taylor Mattia",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11127-019-00721-4",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Public Choice",
issn = "0048-5829",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does money have a conservative bias? Estimating the causal impact of Citizens United on state legislative preferences

AU - Harvey, Anna

AU - Mattia, Taylor

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Recent work has suggested that the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United (2010), eliminating restrictions on independent campaign expenditures, increased the election probabilities of Republican state legislative candidates (Klumpp et al. in J Law Econ 59(1):1–43, 2016). Left unexplored has been whether the Court’s ruling in Citizens United increased not only the number of Republican state legislators, but also the conservatism of their estimated policy preferences, net of any effects on election probabilities. We attempt to distinguish between the possible electoral and preference effects of Citizens United. Our estimates consistently suggest that Citizens United led not only to greater likelihoods of election for Republican state legislative candidates, but also to larger within-district increases in their conservatism. The estimates, which are robust to a series of matching and placebo exercises, may provide support for the claim that more money in elections has contributed to greater conservatism among state-level Republican officeholders.

AB - Recent work has suggested that the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United (2010), eliminating restrictions on independent campaign expenditures, increased the election probabilities of Republican state legislative candidates (Klumpp et al. in J Law Econ 59(1):1–43, 2016). Left unexplored has been whether the Court’s ruling in Citizens United increased not only the number of Republican state legislators, but also the conservatism of their estimated policy preferences, net of any effects on election probabilities. We attempt to distinguish between the possible electoral and preference effects of Citizens United. Our estimates consistently suggest that Citizens United led not only to greater likelihoods of election for Republican state legislative candidates, but also to larger within-district increases in their conservatism. The estimates, which are robust to a series of matching and placebo exercises, may provide support for the claim that more money in elections has contributed to greater conservatism among state-level Republican officeholders.

KW - Campaign finance

KW - Citizens United

KW - Polarization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85074457834&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85074457834&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11127-019-00721-4

DO - 10.1007/s11127-019-00721-4

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85074457834

JO - Public Choice

JF - Public Choice

SN - 0048-5829

ER -