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The financial incumbency advantage: causes and consequences

Fouirnaies, Alexander B. and Hall, Andrew B. (2014) The financial incumbency advantage: causes and consequences. Journal of Politics, 76 (3). pp. 711-724. ISSN 0022-3816

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0022381614000139


In this article, we use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the causal effect of incumbency on campaign contributions in the U.S. House and state legislatures. In both settings, incumbency causes approximately a 20-25 percentage-point increase in the share of donations flowing to the incumbent's party. The effect size does not vary with legislator experience and does not appear to depend on incumbent office-holder benefits. Instead, as we show, the effect is primarily the result of donations from access-oriented interest groups, especially donors from industries under heavy regulation and those with less ideological ties. Given the role of money in elections, the findings suggest that access-oriented interest groups are an important driver of the electoral security of incumbents.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Southern Political Science Association.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading volume; Bond Interest Rates
G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G14 - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2014 14:53
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 18:12
Funders: Augustinus Foundation, Frimodt-Heineke’s Foundation, Knud Højgaard’s Foundation, Institute for Quantitative Social Science

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