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Influence, affluence and media salience: Economic resources and lobbying influence in the European Union

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  • Frederik Stevens

    (Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)

  • Iskander De Bruycker

Abstract

This paper evaluates the circumstances under which affluent interest groups wield influence over policy outcomes. Interest group scholarship is ambiguous about the beneficial role of economic resources for lobbying influence. Economically resourceful groups are often presumed to provide more and better expert information to decision-makers and, in exchange, receive more favourable policy concessions. We argue that the beneficial role of economic resources is contingent on the media salience of policy dossiers. We expect that resourceful groups are more influential when issues are discussed behind the public scenes, while their competitive advantage dampens once issues grow salient in the news media. We test our expectations in the context of European Union policymaking, drawing from 183 expert surveys with lobbyists connected to a sample of 41 policy issues. Our empirical findings demonstrate that economic resources matter for lobbying influence, but that their effect is conditional on the media salience of policy issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederik Stevens & Iskander De Bruycker, 2020. "Influence, affluence and media salience: Economic resources and lobbying influence in the European Union," European Union Politics, , vol. 21(4), pages 728-750, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:21:y:2020:i:4:p:728-750
    DOI: 10.1177/1465116520944572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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