How do candidates spend their money? Objects of campaign spending and the effectiveness of diversification. [Abstract].

with Matthew Wall. Electoral Studies, 30(2), 91-111, (2011).

We present a novel approach to the study of campaign effectiveness using disaggregated spending returns from the 2007 Irish general election. While previous studies have focused on overall levels of expenditure as a predictor of electoral success, we consider the types of activities on which candidates spent money and the overall diversification of candidates’ campaign expenditure as predictors of electoral success. We offer a replicable framework for the measurement of campaign diversification as well as for the evaluation of its effects on electoral performance. We examine how factors such as campaign expenditure and candidates’ incumbency status condition the effects of campaign diversification. It is shown that diversification is only related to electoral success when campaigns are well-financed.

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