The politician and the vote factory: Candidates’ resource management skills and electoral returns.
Journal of Policy Modeling
38 - 55 p.
Campaign funding , DEA , Elections
This paper disentangles resource management skills of candidates from the electoral circumstances that help them getting (re-)elected. It is first made use of the DEA method to measure candidates’ resource management abilities. Second, determinants of these scores are estimated. The paper uses a database detailing the different sources of campaign funding for French members of Parliament to analyze their relative performance. Results show a large variance in campaign resource management ability, particularly between political parties, and incumbents and newcomers. They also reveal an important role of constituencies’ characteristics and of politicians' experience in explaining differences between politicians' efforts. Thus, public policies could promote virtuous regulations to reduce disparities among candidates with different financial backgrounds and access to resources, to foster a fairer democracy.