Wealth constraints, lobbying and the efficiency of public allocation
In Esteban and Ray (1999) we formalize a model in which individuals lobby before the government in order to benefit from some productivity enhancing government action (infrastructure, direct subsidies, permissions, in short). The government honestly tries to allocate these permissions to the agents that will make the best use of them, as revealed by the intensity of their lobbying. If the marginal cost of resources varies with wealth, the amount of information transmitted through lobbying will depend on the degree of inequality. In this paper, we summarize the main approach and examine the special case of equal wealth.
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