Does publicizing incentive programs increase political donations?


New Rochelle, NY, August 10, 2016–Field studies designed to assess the impact of promoting political contribution incentives, such as public matching funds and tax credits, showed that nonpartisan publicity did not affect the likelihood that individuals would make a contribution or the amount they would donate. Possible reasons why the use of nonpartisan messages to publicize incentives did not attract new donors or increase contributions are examined in an article in Election Law Journal, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Election Law Journal website until September 12, 2016.

Coauthors Michael Schwam-Baird, Costas Panagopoulos, Jonathan Krasno, and Donald Green, Columbia University, Fordham University (New York, NY), and University of Binghamton, NY, suggest that more partisan messages promoting contribution incentives may have a greater effect on donor behavior. In the article entitled "Do Public Matching Funds and Tax Credits Encourage Political Contributions? Evidence from Three Field Experiments Using Nonpartisan Messages"), the authors emphasize the important lessons to be learned from this study related to campaign finance policy.

"While hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised by presidential candidates this cycle from small donations, the reality is that below the presidential level, the campaign finance system remains very biased toward a small number of donors," says Election Law Journal Editor Paul Gronke, Reed College (Portland, OR). "The experiments in this article demonstrate that by use of modest public matching funds, we can significantly increase contributions by Americans of modest means."


About the Journal

Election Law Journal is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published quarterly online with open access options and in print that provides global, interdisciplinary coverage of election law, policy, and administration. Led by Editor Paul Gronke, Reed College (Portland, OR), the Journal covers the field of election law for practicing attorneys, election administrators, political professionals, legal scholars, and social scientists, and covers election design and reform on the federal, state, and local levels. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue are available on the Election Law Journal website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research and law, including Biotechnology Law Report, Gaming Law Review and Economics, and Environmental Justice. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Media Contact

Kathryn Ryan
[email protected]