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Lobbying, Information Transmission, and Unequal Representation

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  • Johan Lagerlöf
  • Lars Frisell

Abstract

We study the effects of unequal representation in the interest-group system on the degree of information transmission between a lobbyist and a policymaker. Employing a dynamic cheap-talk model in which the lobbyist cares instrumentally about his reputation for truthtelling, we show that the larger is the inequality, the less information can credibly be transmitted to the policymaker. We also investigate the effects of inequality on welfare and discuss the welfare effects of institutions that increase transparency but which as well, as an unintended side-effect, lower the lobbyist’s incentives for truthtelling. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Lobbying, Informationsübertragung und ungleiche Repräsentation) In diesem Papier wird untersucht, welche Wirkung die ungleiche Repräsentation in einem Interessengruppensystem auf den Grad an Informationsübertragung zwischen einem Lobbyisten und einem Politiker hat. Es wird ein dynamisches Modell für 'Cheap-talk' verwendet, in dem angenommen wird, dass der Lobbyist Wert auf seine Reputation als aufrichtiger Informationsvermittler legt. Dabei kann gezeigt werden, dass je größer die Ungleichheit im System, dem Politiker umso weniger Information glaubwürdig übermittelt werden kann. Darüber hinaus wird die Wohlfahrtswirkung der Ungleichheit untersucht und diskutiert, welche Effekte solche Institutionen haben, die zwar einerseits die Transparenz erhöhen, mit unerwünschtem Nebeneffekt aber den Anreiz für Lobbyisten, Informationen wahrheitsgemäß weiterzugeben, verringern.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2004-02.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2004-02

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Keywords: Lobbying; interest groups; reputation; information transmission; representation; inequality; bias;

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  1. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. " Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
  2. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  3. Benabou, Roland & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-58, August.
  4. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  5. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Working Papers 154, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  6. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2002. "Lobbying Legislatures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 919-948, August.
  7. Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
  8. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1998. "Limit Pricing and Entry Under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Levine's Working Paper Archive 245, David K. Levine.
  10. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
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