Self-funding of Political Campaigns
By Philip Valta | Posted on 13 September 2021
Post type: Paper
Candidate self-funding, in particular self-loans, is a significant source of funding of political campaigns. Self-funding clusters among newcomers, Senate campaigns and Republican campaigns. Self-funded campaigns raise less money from individuals and special interests and also spend less. Self-funders are wealthier on average; other candidate and campaign characteristics play little role in explaining self-funding choices. The analysis of self-funders’ legislative decisions shows that self-funders’ votes are significantly more sensitive to contributions from special interests that are affected by the votes. The results highlight the importance of considering politicians’ self-funding choices in analyzing voting behavior and the value of political activism.
Co-Author(s): Alexei Ovtchinnikov