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How a Firm Can Induce Legislators to Adopt a Bad Policy

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  • Matthias Dahm
  • Robert Dur
  • Amihai Glazer

Abstract

This paper shows why a majority of legislators may vote for a policy that benefits a firm but harms all legislators. The firm may induce legislators to support the policy by suggesting that it is more likely to invest in a district whose voters or representative support the policy. In equilibrium, no one vote may be decisive, so each legislator who seeks the firm’s investment votes for the policy, though all legislators would be better off if they all voted against the policy. Moreover, when votes reveal information about the district, the firm’s implicit promise or threat can be credible. Unlike influence mechanisms based on contributions or bribes, the behavior considered is time consistent and in line with the observed small spending by special interests.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-04/cesifo1_wp3788.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3788.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3788

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Related research

Keywords: lobbying; voting; special interests; credibility;

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References

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  1. José Alcalde & Matthias Dahm, 2011. "On The Complete Information First-Price Auction And Its Intuitive Solution," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(03), pages 353-361.
  2. Raff, Horst & Srinivasan, Krishna, 1998. "Tax incentives for import-substituting foreign investment:: Does signaling play a role?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 167-193, February.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  4. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  5. Thomas Stratmann, 2005. "Some talk: Money in politics. A (partial) review of the literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 135-156, July.
  6. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," Papers 12-21-2004, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel & Luis Rayo, 2006. "The Power of the Last Word in Legislative Policy Making," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1161-1190, 09.
  8. Faccio, Mara & Parsley, Davie, 2007. "Sudden Deaths: Taking Stock of Geographic Ties," MPRA Paper 6042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Thomas Schwartz, 1987. "Your vote counts on account of the way it is counted: An institutional solution to the paradox of not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 101-121, January.
  10. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
  11. Matthias Dahm & Nicolas Porteiro, 2005. "Side Effects of Campaign Finance Reform," Discussion Papers 1408, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Luis Corchon & Matthias Dahm, 2007. "Foundations For Contest Success Functions," Economics Working Papers we070401, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  13. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
  14. Corchon, Luis, 2009. "Welfare Maximizing Contest Success Functions when the Planner Cannot Commit," MPRA Paper 18761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Andrew Yates, 2011. "Winner-pay contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 93-106, April.
  16. Stratmann, Thomas, 1998. "The Market for Congressional Votes: Is Timing of Contributions Everything?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 85-113, April.
  17. Carolyn L. Evans, 2009. "A Protectionist Bias In Majoritarian Politics: An Empirical Investigation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 278-307, 07.
  18. Milyo Jeffrey & Primo David & Groseclose Timothy, 2000. "Corporate PAC Campaign Contributions in Perspective," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, April.
  19. Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Informational lobbying under the shadow of political pressure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 531-559, May.
  20. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. " Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  21. Lapp, Miriam, 1999. " Incorporating Groups into Rational Choice Explanations of Turnout: An Empirical Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 171-85, January.
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