It Takes Two to Tango: Lobbies and the Political Business Cycle
AbstractWith interest groups significantly affecting economic performance (according to Mancur Olson) and a vital interest of governments in economic growth and low unemployment in order to win elections, there should be a link between political business cycles and the evolution of lobbies over time which has totally been ignored in the literature up to now. In modeling this link in a theoretical and empirical way we try to answer two questions: Is it possible to interpret Olson´s Law of Interest Groups not only as a long run phenomenon but also in a short-run perspective, integrating it into the theory of political business cycles? And: is there any empirical evidence that a typical pattern of lobby behavior and macroeconomic status exists which is consistent over a couple of election periods? In order to investigate these issues, we first analyze some literature that is usually ignored in the more technical contributions evaluating Olson´s law, but proves to be highly important as background for answering the above mentioned questions. We then illustrate how a model consisting of Olson´s interest-groups theory and the endeavors of governments to win the majority of votes in elections could look like, before we perform a time-series-analysis based on the lobby-list of the German Bundestag in order to gain some more insights into the relationships between lobbies, governments and voters. As a result we discover a consistent behavior of the lobbies over the cycle that boils down to some kind of non-aggression pact between the lobbies and the governments irrespective of their political alignments.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg in its series Working Paper with number 98/2009.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 07 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
interest groups; political business cycles; growth; unemployment; inflation;
Other versions of this item:
- Daniel Horgos & Klaus W. Zimmermann, 2010. "It Takes Two to Tango: Lobbies and the Political Business Cycle," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 383-399, 08.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-09-19 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-MAC-2009-09-19 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-POL-2009-09-19 (Positive Political Economics)
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- Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2013. "Composition effects of the German Federal Government on the average top income tax burden," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 2/2013, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
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