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Lobbying: Buying and utilizing access


  • Mayer, Wolfgang
  • Mujumdar, Sudesh


This paper develops a lobbying-by-firms model that draws on a more realistic characterization of the lobbying process; influence-seeking requires both money to 'buy access' and managerial time to 'utilize access'. This, more realistically grounded, modeling approach furnishes theoretical support for why one encounters different numbers of lobbying firms of varying sizes in different industries, without casting the (unrealistic) lifeline of the 'money-buys-policies' assumption or (unrealistically) casting out the role of money from the lobbying process. Theoretical legs are also furnished for the empirical finding of a negative and statistically significant (at the 1% level) relationship between industry concentration and 'direct lobbying' by the industry. Additional insights emerge from the model regarding how a cap on the lobbying-contributions of firms results, in fact, in an expansion of the amount of access-time purchased by some firms, and how a decline in the world price of an industry's good can generate greater inequality in access to politicians.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayer, Wolfgang & Mujumdar, Sudesh, 2014. "Lobbying: Buying and utilizing access," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:20142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Magee, Christopher, 2002. "Endogenous trade policy and lobby formation: an application to the free-rider problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 449-471, August.
    2. Pecorino, Paul, 1998. "Is There a Free-Rider Problem in Lobbying? Endogenous Tariffs, Trigger Strategies, and the Number of Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 652-660, June.
    3. Wolfgang Mayer & Sudesh Mujumdar, 2003. "Endogenous Lobbying in Search of Import Protection," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(1), pages 119-148, January-F.
    4. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1989. "The Economics of Uncertainty and Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121360, January.
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    More about this item


    Lobbying; free-rider problem; size-distribution-of-firms; world-price; labormarket-flexibility;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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