Political Campaign Finance Regulation and the Quality of Democracy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 00:00

Politicians' need to raise funds for political campaigns may lead to undue policy influence of large campaign donors, deteriorating the quality of the political system. Using tools of game theory, Dr. Tuvana Pastine (Economics, Finance and Accounting Maynooth University) and Dr. Ivan Pastime (School of Economics UCD) show that a limit on political donations can reduce special interest influence on political decision making even when there are soft-money loopholes such that special interests can make off-the-books contributions in support of the politician. However a complete ban on political campaign donations can paradoxically lead to higher influence of special interest on policy, flooding the political system with undocumented soft-money. The study has recently been published in The International Economic Review and is available here. More details on Dr. Tuvana Pastine's work on campaign financing can be found here.