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Business, politics and money in Australia: testing economic, political and ideological explanations

McMenamin, Iain (2008) Business, politics and money in Australia: testing economic, political and ideological explanations. Australian Journal of Political Science, 43 (3). pp. 377-393. ISSN 1036-1146

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The flow of business money to political parties is a vital issue for Australian democracy. Nonetheless, there has been no systematic study of why Australian businesses contribute to political parties and why they contribute more to one party than to others. I exploit Australian Electoral Commission data on payments to parties by 450 large businesses over seven years at the Commonwealth and State levels. Economic characteristics (income and sector) are important to understanding which businesses make political contributions. However, they are little help in understanding how businesses distribute their cash. This is best interpreted as an interaction of ideological bias and political pragmatism. If Labor has the political advantage businesses tend to split contributions evenly between the ALP and the Coalition. If the Coalition has the political advantage businesses overwhelmingly target their contributions on the Liberal and National parties.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
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Copyright Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in McMenamin, Iain. "Business, Politics and Money in Australia: Testing Economic, Political and Ideological Explanations" Australian Journal of Political Science 43.3 (2008). 29 Sep. 2008 < >.
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:608
Deposited On:29 Sep 2008 10:59 by DORAS Administrator. Last Modified 29 Mar 2010 04:02

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