Public Choice

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 351–355

Incentives and political contributions

  • David Joulfaian
  • Michael L. Marlow


Two implications from this research are noted. First, from a researcher's viewpoint, our research suggests the importance of age, wealth, tax rates, and marital status as determinants of political contributions by top U.S. wealth-holders. Therefore, these factors should be included in aggregated models that attempt to analyze the relations between such variables as voting, campaign expenditures and the outcomes of elections. Second, from politicians' viewpoints, this research suggests that individual economic variables such as marginal tax rates and wealth are major determinants of individual decisions to contribute to politicians. Assuming that such contributions reflect “votes,” this research suggests the relative importance of focusing campaign promises on economic variables — a strategy that “low tax” politicians like Ronald Reagan and George Bush may keenly be aware of.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Joulfaian
    • 1
  • Michael L. Marlow
    • 2
  1. 1.U.S. Department of the TreasuryOffice of Tax AnalysisWashington
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis Obispo

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