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Lobbying and Compromise

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  • Gil S. Epstein
  • Shmuel Nitzan

Abstract

The compromise enhancing effect of lobbying on public policy has been established in two typical settings. In the first, lobbies are assumed to act as 'principals' and the setters of the policy (the candidates in a Downsian electoral competition or the elected policy maker in a citizen- candidate model of electoral competition) are conceived as 'agents'. In the second setting, the proposed policies are solely determined by the lobbies who are assumed to take the dual role of 'principals' in one stage of the public-policy game and 'agents' in its second stage. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that in the latter setting, the compromising effect of lobbying need not exist. Our reduced-form, two-stage public-policy contest, where two interest groups compete on the approval or rejection of the policy set by a politician, is sufficient to show that the proposed and possibly implemented policy can be more extreme and less efficient than the preferred policies of the interest groups. In such situations then more than the calf (interest groups) wish to suck the cow (politician) desires to suckle thereby threatening the public well being more than the lobbying interest groups. The main result specifies the conditions that give rise to such a situation under both the perfectly and imperfectly discriminating contests.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-02/cesifo1_wp1413.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1413.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1413

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Keywords: public-policy contests; interest groups; policy makers; lobbying; compromise;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Leonardo Felli & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "Endogenous Lobbying," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 448, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Gil S . Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2002. "Endogenous Public Policy, Politicization and Welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 661-677, October.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  4. Glazer, A. & Konrad, K.A., 1995. "The Electoral Politics of Extreme Policies," Papers 94-95-23, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  5. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2002. "Politics of Randomness," CESifo Working Paper Series 803, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Cukierman, Alex, 1990. "The Politics of Ambiguity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 829-50, November.
  7. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  8. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  9. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2003. "Political culture and monopoly price determination," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, 08.
  10. Glazer, Amihai & McMillan, Henry, 1992. "Pricing by the Firm under Regulatory Threat," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1089-99, August.
  11. Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  12. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 1999. "What Drives Deregulation? Economics And Politics Of The Relaxation Of Bank Branching Restrictions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1437-1467, November.
  13. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "Effort and Performance in Public Policy Contests," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 265-282, 05.
  14. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  16. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82, January.
  17. Cairns, Robert D. & Van Long, Ngo, 1991. "Rent seeking with uncertain opposition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1223-1235, August.
  18. Baik, Kyung Hwan, 1999. "Rent-Seeking Firms, Consumer Groups, and the Social Costs of Monopoly," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 541-53, July.
  19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
  20. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Epstein, Gil S. & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2005. "The Struggle over Migration Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1533, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gil S. Epstein, 2012. "Frontier Issues of the Political Economy of Migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1224, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Mazza, Isidoro & van Winden, Frans, 2008. "An endogenous policy model of hierarchical government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 133-149, January.

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