Issue Analysis 5: Do Lower Contribution Limits Decrease Public Corruption?

January 1, 2009   •  By Laura Renz   •    •  

This CCP study shows that campaign contribution limits do not produce less corruption by public officials. CCP Research Director Laura Renz compared Department of Justice data on public corruption convictions to information on contribution limits in all 50 states.

The analysis found no correlation at all between contribution limits and the corruption of public officials, undermining a frequent claim by supporters of campaign finance restrictions that lower contribution limits will somehow inhibit corruption and create good government. States with low limits are found in both the “high corruption” and “low corruption” categories, and states with no or very high limits are also found in both the “high corruption” and “low corruption” categories. The three states with the lowest rates of corruption, Oregon, Nebraska, and Iowa, all have no or very high limits.

Laura Renz

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