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Trust, Coordination, and the Industrial Organization of Political Activism

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Battaglini

    (Princeton University, and CEPR)

  • Roland Bénabou

    (Princeton University, CEPR, and NBER)

Abstract

We study political activism by several interest groups with private signals. When their ideological distance to the policymaker is small, a "low-trust" regime prevails: agents frequently lobby even when it is unwarranted, taking advantage of the confirmation provided by others' activism; conversely, the policymaker responds only to generalized pressure. When ideological distance is large, a "high-trust" regime prevails: lobbying behavior is disciplined by the potential contradiction from abstainers, and the policymaker's response threshold is correspondingly lower. Within some intermediate range, both equilibria coexist. We then study the optimal organization of influence activities, contrasting welfare levels when interest groups act independently and when they coordinate. (JEL: D72, D78, D82) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Battaglini & Roland Bénabou, 2003. "Trust, Coordination, and the Industrial Organization of Political Activism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 851-889, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:4:p:851-889
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    2. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2008. "The informational effects of competition and collusion in legislative politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1541-1563, July.
    3. Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2005. "Choosing the size of the public sector under rent seeking from state coffers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 830-850, December.
    4. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    5. Battaglini, Marco & Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Self-control in peer groups," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 105-134, August.
    6. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2003. "Coordination and Policy Traps," NBER Working Papers 9767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity and Timing of Attacks (August 2006, with George-Marios Angeletos and Alessandro Pavan)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 279, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Kathy Yuan & Emre Ozdenoren & Itay Goldstein, 2008. "Learning and Complementarities: Implications for Speculative Attacks," 2008 Meeting Papers 276, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Semenov, Aggey & Martimort, David, 2004. "Communication by Interest Groups and the Organization of Lobbying," MPRA Paper 8519, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Elena Panova, 2007. "Congruence Among Voters and Contributions to Political Campaigns," Cahiers de recherche 0722, CIRPEE.
    11. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 452-484, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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