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Uncovered Power: External Agenda Setting, Sophisticated Voting, and Transnational Lobbying

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  • Silvia Console Battilana
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    Abstract

    Where does the balance of power lie in a policy-making institution with an external agenda setter, legislators, and lobbies? In a multiple round majority rule game with sophisticated actors, we show that the agenda setter obtains its most preferred policy outcome even if all lobbies and legislators prefer the status quo to the proposal (i.e., the proposal lies in the covered set). A lobby with the ability to recruit supermajorities can counterbalance this power. If contributions are conditional on the entire voting profile, such a ‘transnational lobby’ can veto any proposal at no cost. If contributions are conditional on the votes of each recipient legislator, the transnational lobby has only to possess a greater willingness to pay than the median national lobby to achieve this result. We use our formal model to explain external tariff policies in the European Union following the creation of an internal market.

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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2138.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2138

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    1. Alessandro Riboni, 2010. "Committees As Substitutes For Commitment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 213-236, 02.
    2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
    3. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
    4. Schofield, Norman, 1978. "Instability of Simple Dynamic Games," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 575-94, October.
    5. Hanson, Brian T., 1998. "What Happened to Fortress Europe?: External Trade Policy Liberalization in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 55-85, December.
    6. Helpman Elhanan & Persson Torsten, 2001. "Lobbying and Legislative Bargaining," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-33, November.
    7. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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