Does Negative Advertising Affect Giving Behavior? Evidence from Campaign Contributions


Sarah Niebler, Carly Urban


Journal of Public Economics


This paper contributes to a growing literature that explains why individuals contribute to political campaigns. We build a panel dataset that follows contributors from primary to general elections to quantify the persistence of giving in political contests. Those who gave to winning candidates in the primary were most likely to contribute again in the general election. Next, we use an instrumental variable strategy to document that within party negative advertising decreases the probability that individuals contribute to their preferred party in the general election, regardless of whether they initially contributed to a winning or losing primary candidate.



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