STEPHEN ANSOLABEHERE AND ALAN GERBER
The Effects of Filing Fees and Petition Requirements on U.S. House Elections
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXI:249-64
Recent theoretical work suggests that barriers to entry in political campaigns can affect who runs for office and how much effort they devote to that enterprise. We investigate the effects of legal barriers to competition--in the form of filing fees and petition requirements--on congressional election results during the 1980s. Higher ballot access requirements significantly increase the frequency of uncontested seats and decrease the frequency of retirements. Contrary to Supreme Court opinions, petitions pose as great a burden on potential challengers as filing fees do.
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