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Bootleggers, Baptists, and the risks of rent seeking

Author

Listed:
  • Patrick A. McLaughlin

    (George Mason University)

  • Adam C. Smith

    () (Johnson and Wales University)

  • Russell S. Sobel

    (The Citadel)

Abstract

Abstract Interest groups ‘caught’ influencing public policy solely for private gain risk public backlash. These risks can be diminished, and rent seeking efforts made more successful, when moral or social arguments are employed in pushing for changes to public policy. Following Yandle’s Bootlegger and Baptist model, we postulate this risk differential should manifest itself in regulatory output with social regulations being more responsive to political influence than economic regulations. We test, and confirm, our theory using data on economic and social regulations from the new RegData project matched with data on campaign contributions and lobbying activity at the industry level.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick A. McLaughlin & Adam C. Smith & Russell S. Sobel, 2019. "Bootleggers, Baptists, and the risks of rent seeking," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 211-234, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:30:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-019-09278-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-019-09278-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent seeking; Social regulation; Bootleggers and Baptists;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General

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