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Campaign cost and electoral accountability

Prato, Carlo and Wolton, Stephane (2016) Campaign cost and electoral accountability. Political Science Research and Methods. ISSN 2049-8470

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Identification Number: 10.1017/psrm.2016.8


The increasing cost of political campaigns and its impact on the electoral process are issues of paramount importance in modern democracies. We propose a theory of electoral accountability in which candidates choose whether or not to commit to constituency service and whether or not to pay a campaign cost to advertise their platform. A higher campaign cost decreases voter welfare when partisan imbalance is low. However, when partisan imbalance is high, a higher campaign cost is associated with a higher expected level of constituency service. More costly campaigns can thus have a rebalancing effect that improves electoral accountability. We discuss the implications of our findings for campaign finance regulation and present empirical evidence consistent with our key predictions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The European Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 16:51
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 13:38
Funders: Hoover Institution

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