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Show Them Your Teeth First! A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Lobbying and Pressure

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  • Sloof, Randolph
  • van Winden, Frans

Abstract

This paper investigates the choice of an interest group between lobbying ("words") and pressure ("actions") in order to influence a policymaker. Both lobbying and pressure are modeled as strategic means of transmitting information that is relevant to the policymaker. However, only pressure is directly costly to the policymaker. The interaction between the interest group and the policymaker is framed as a repeated signaling game. In equilibrium pressure--in contrast to lobbying--only occurs when the interest group's reputation is sufficiently low, and always improves its reputation. It is shown that (repeated) lobbying cannot completely substitute for pressure, and that the interest group may be forced to sustain its reputation through lobbying. We conclude that pressure is typically used to build up a reputation, lobbying to maintain a reputation. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:104:y:2000:i:1-2:p:81-120
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    Cited by:

    1. David Gill & Christine Lipsmeyer, 2005. "Soft money and hard choices: Why political parties might legislate against soft money donations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 411-438, June.
    2. Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Informational lobbying under the shadow of political pressure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 531-559, May.
    3. 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.
    4. DAHM, Matthias & PORTEIRO, Nicolas, 2003. "The political economy of interest groups: pressure and information," CORE Discussion Papers 2003057, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Randolph Sloof & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Show Them Your Teeth First!," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 81-120, July.
    6. Reuben E., 2002. "Interest groups and politics: The need to concentrate on group formation," Public Economics 0212001, EconWPA.

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