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The political economy of interest groups: pressure and information

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  • DAHM, Matthias
  • PORTEIRO, Nicolas

Abstract

We examine the incentives of an interest group to provide a political decision-maker with policy-relevant information and to exert pressure on her. Both activities are costly but may induce the lobby's preferred policy. Our paper provides an integrated analysis of both lobbying activities and leads to interesting insights into the behavior of the interest group. Moreover, we show how conclusions of models that take into account only one of these activities may change. Our main results say that the relationship between the pressure exerted and the amount of information transmitted is not monotonic, and that an increase in the amount of information that the lobby transmits may be socially harmful. This analysis has immediate implications for the current discussions in the United States and Europe concerning the reform of their respective rules of party and candidate financing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2003057.

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Date of creation: 00 Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2003057

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Keywords: party and candidate financing; lobbying; interest groups; experts; pressure; information; influence; political decision making process;

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  1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
  2. Prat, A., 1998. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies," Discussion Paper 1998-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  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. Austen-Smith, David, 1998. "Allocating Access for Information and Contributions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 277-303, October.
  5. Richard Ball, 1995. "Interest Groups, Influence And Welfare," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 119-146, 07.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Show Them Your Teeth First! A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Lobbying and Pressure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1-2), pages 81-120, July.
  8. Grossman, G-M & Helpman, E, 1996. "Competing for Endorsements," Papers 182, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
  10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1999. "Political economy, information and incentives1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 649-669, April.
  11. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  12. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2002. "Lobbying Legislatures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 919-948, August.
  13. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. " Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  14. Michael J. Mandel, 1999. "Going for the Gold: Economists as Expert Witnesses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 113-120, Spring.
  15. Randolph Sloof & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Show Them Your Teeth First!," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 81-120, July.
  16. Laffont, J.-J., 1999. "Political Economy, Information and Incentives," Papers 99.516, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Javier A. Prado Domínguez & Antonio García Lorenzo, 2010. "Competencia e incentivos a la cooperación en la interacción de grupos de interés que pretenden aumentar su influencia política directa: ¿cuál es la importancia de la presión política?," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 192(1), pages 105-125, March.

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