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Informational lobbying under the shadow of political pressure

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  • Matthias Dahm

    ()

  • Nicolás Porteiro

    ()

Abstract

We examine the incentives of an interest group to provide verifiable policy-relevant information to a political decision-maker and to exert political pressure on her. We show that both lobbying instruments are interdependent. In our view information provision is a risky attempt to affect the politician’s beliefs about the desirability of the lobby’s objective. The constraints governing informational lobbying determine a specific lottery available. The circumstances under which political pressure can be applied specify the lobby’s valuation of different beliefs of the politician and, thus, her attitude toward risk. The combination of lotteries available and the “shadow of political pressure” (or induced risk preference) determines the optimal lobbying behavior. We identify several factors that induce risk proclivity (and thus information provision), which allows to explain the stylized fact that lobbies engage both in information provision and political pressure. Moreover, our approach gives a novel explanation for the fact that interest groups often try to provide information credibly. We finally study the extent to which this preference for credibility is robust and identify some instances in which lobbies may prefer to strategically withhold information.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:531-559
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-007-0264-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Side Effects of Campaign Finance Reform," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1057-1077, September.
    2. Laffont, J.-J., 1999. "Political Economy, Information and Incentives," Papers 99.516, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
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    5. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-294, March.
    6. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
    7. 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).
    8. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-651, June.
    9. Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Disclosures and Asset Returns," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 105-133, January.
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    11. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
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    14. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. "Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-284, December.
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    16. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, July.
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    22. Baker, Scott & Mezzetti, Claudio, 2005. "Disclosure as a Strategy in the Patent Race," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 173-194, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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