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Industry Income and Congressional Regulatory Legislation: Interest Groups vs. Median Voter


  • Cahan, Steven F
  • Kaempfer, William H


Interest group theories of regulation suggest that industries will be able to gain political benefits at the expense of the larger, but disorganized and disinterested, general public. However, casual observation indicates that industries are often the targets of costly legislation. The authors examine how the political influence and vulnerability of industries are affected by industry income. Results show wealthy industries are more likely to be subject to costly legislation, whereas no relationship was found between industry income and the granting of political benefits. They interpret these results as supportive of both interest group and median voter models of the political process. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Cahan, Steven F & Kaempfer, William H, 1992. "Industry Income and Congressional Regulatory Legislation: Interest Groups vs. Median Voter," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 47-56, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:1:p:47-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
    2. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    3. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    6. Allen, Bruce T, 1971. "Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure: The Case of Cement and Concrete," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 251-274, April.
    7. Dodd, Peter, 1980. "Merger proposals, management discretion and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 105-137, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Widerquist, 2000. "The Public Commodities Problem," Macroeconomics 0004046, EconWPA.
    2. Cahan, Steven F., 1996. "Political use of income: Some experimental evidence from Capitol Hill," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 69-87.
    3. Robst, John & Turcotte, Leo, 1998. "The effect of regulatory legislation on workers' earnings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 255-261, May.
    4. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph, 1996. "Interest groups: A survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 403-442, November.

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