An econometric analysis of household political giving in the USA

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Advocates of political contribution limitations contend that such contributions can transform economic and social inequalities into political inequalities. This article examines the extent to which traditional markers of social and economic power are associated with political giving. A Tobit analysis of 56 663 households participating in the Consumer Expenditure Survey from 1995 to 2005 indicates that political giving is positively associated with income, wealth, education and White racial status and is negatively associated with single female (but not single male) status. A double-hurdle analysis indicates that nonWhite or single female status affects expected giving most clearly through diminished participation in political giving, rather than simply through lower amounts given by such contributors. Descriptive statistics and a multinomial logistic regression suggest that the importance of traditional markers of social and economic status is greater for political giving than for charitable giving or religious giving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-543
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


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