Campaign contributions and policy convergence: asymmetric agents and donations constraints

  • Eric DunawayEmail author
  • Felix Munoz-Garcia


We extend previous work on the role of politically motivated donors who contribute to candidates in an election with single dimension policy preferences. In a two-stage game wherein donors observe candidate policy positions and then allocate funding accordingly, we find that reducing the cost of donations incentivizes candidates to position closer to one another, reducing policy divergence. Furthermore, we find that as donations become more effective at influencing voter decisions, candidates respond less to voter preferences and more to those of donors. In addition, we analyze the presence of asymmetries in the model using numerical analysis techniques. We also extend our model by allowing for public funding from governments. By implementing stringent campaign contribution limits, candidate positions align with voter preferences at the cost of wider policy divergence. In contrast, unlimited campaign contributions lead to candidate positions moving away from voters to donors’ preferences, but increase policy convergence.


Asymmetries Policy preferences Policy divergence Donors Political contributions Campaign limits 

JEL Classification

C63 C72 D72 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wabash CollegeCrawfordsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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