Wednesday, April 21, 2010

voting patterns drive PAC contributions

Do PACs give political contributions in an effort to "bribe" or otherwise convince politicians into voting in their favor? Or, do PACs give political contributions to the politicians that have underlying preferences consistent with the PACs positions (i.e., those politicians who would vote in favor of the PAC regardless of their contributions)?

In a recent NBER working paper, Dalton Conley and Brian McCabe (NYU) present some evidence that the later story might be correct, at least in some situations. First, they show that politicians are more likely to vote liberally on women's issues when they daughters. (This has been shown before.) Second, they show that this exogenous change in voting behavior has a significant impact on PAC contributions, suggesting that contributions follow from voting choices, not the other way around.

Read the paper here or here.

No comments: