Soft money and hard choices: Why political parties might legislate against soft money donations Academic Article uri icon


  • In contrast to the bulk of the campaign finance literature that highlights political action committee (PAC) contributions and single donations, this paper emphasizes soft money and the rationale for dual contributions. Employing a formal model of unregulated contributions and political access, we show that donors will rationally choose to contribute to both political parties. While the parties accept these dual contributions, they lead to an imbalance between the benefits of contributions and the costs of providing access. This race to acquire unlimited soft money leads to a situation where the parties agree to campaign finance reform legislation. Springer 2005.

published proceedings

  • Public Choice

author list (cited authors)

  • Gill, D., & Lipsmeyer, C. S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Gill, David||Lipsmeyer, Christine S

publication date

  • January 2005