About the Society
Papers, Posters, Syllabi
Submit an Item
Polmeth Mailing List
Below results based on the criteria 'two-limit tobit'
Total number of records returned: 1
Legislator Quality and Campaign Contributions
Mebane, Walter R.
Ratkovic, Marc T.
Tofias, Michael W.
U.S. House of Representatives
constrained nonlinear optimization
political action committees
We introduce a simple theoretical model of the relationship between the campaign contributions a legislator receives from a PAC and the amount of ``service'' the legislator provides to the PAC, a key assumption being that the marginal cost of service decreases as the quality of the legislator increases. Optimal solution of the constrained optimization problem that each PAC faces in allocating its campaign contributions among legislators implies a conditional two-limit tobit model for the relationship between contributions and aspects of the quality of each legislator. The constraints arise because PAC contributions must be positive but no greater than a legally limiting value and because each PAC's budget for contributions is finite. We extend the tobit model to support pooling data >from several similar PACs. We estimate the empirical model using data from the U.S. House of Representatives. The fact that optimal PAC behavior implies censoring suggests that it is usually inappropriate to aggregate contributions from different PACs; but pooling can work well.