Monday, August 11, 2014

Scholar Spotlight: Professor Laura Merrifield Albright

Today, the Legislation Law Prof Blog is spotlighting a freshly posted SSRN article on the relationship between race/ethnicity and campaign finance in state legislative elections. The article is based on Albright's study of 15 states and 3000 candidates. Here's the general abstract:

In spite of the increasing campaign finance legislation aimed at equalizing barriers in political campaigns, a fundraising gap persists across racial/ethnic lines. In the era of modern campaigning, with the expenses of advertising and polling, among others, ample funds are necessary but not universally accessible to all candidates. This study addresses the relationship between candidate race/ethnicity and campaign fundraising, and the possible moderating impact of three dimensions of the state political context – state legislative professionalism, state Republican party strength, and state culture (South vs. Nonsouth). I evaluate fundraising totals across 15 states for over 3,000 candidates in the 2006 state legislative elections. Ultimately, the findings suggest that after controlling for other candidate characteristics, as well as district and state context, there is a negative, statistically significant relationship between candidate race/ethnicity and fundraising. In addition, the effect of race/ethnicity is moderated by two features of the state context - legislative professionalization and the state culture. This study finds that non-white candidates continue to fundraise less than their white counterparts and state context is important in understanding the race/ethnicity gap in campaign finance.

The SSRN link to Albright's article is here.  Albright is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she teaches courses on American government, state and local government, and public administration.

We love to spotlight scholarship on legislative topics that would be of interest to our blog community-- so if you have relevant articles to recommend, please contact us!

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