Determinants of Automobile PAC Contributions to House Incumbents: Own Versus Rival Effects

Research paper by Philip L. Hersch, Gerald S. McDougall

Indexed on: 01 Sep '00Published on: 01 Sep '00Published in: Public choice


This paper examines PAC contributions by the Big ThreeU.S. automakers and Japanese auto dealers to Houseincumbents. A regression model is estimated where PACcontributions are a function of a firm's own ties toan incumbent's district (as measured by firmemployment) and those of rivals. For the Big Three,own and U.S. rival effects are positive. Further, theresults do not indicate the presence of a free-ridereffect. Employment by a foreign subsidiary has no neteffect on U.S. contributions. For the Japanesedealers, Japanese plant employment has a positiveimpact on contributions, and that of the Big Three anegative.