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Subpoena Power and Information Transmission

Author

Listed:
  • Arnaud Dellis

    () (Université du QuébecàMontréal)

  • Mandar Oak

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of subpoena power in enabling a policymaker to make better informed decisions. In particular, we take into account the effect of subpoena power on the information voluntarily supplied by interest groups as well as the information obtained by the policymaker via the subpoena process. To this end, we develop a model of informational lobbying in which interest groups seek access to the policymaker in order to provide him verifiable evidence about the desirability of implementing reforms they care about. The policymaker is access-constrained, i.e., he lacks time/resources to verify the evidence provided by all interest groups. The policymaker may also be agenda-constrained, i.e., he may lack time/resources to reform all issues. We find that if a policymaker is agenda-constrained, then he is better off by having subpoena power. On the other hand, if a policymaker is not agenda-constrained, he is made worse off by having subpoena power. The key insight behind these findings is that subpoena power influences interest groups' incentives to provide information voluntarily, and that this influence differs depending on whether or not the policymaker is agenda-constrained.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2017. "Subpoena Power and Information Transmission," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-05, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2017-05
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    File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2017-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    7. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Overlobbying and Pareto-improving Agenda Constraint," School of Economics Working Papers 2016-05, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lobbying; Information transmission; Subpoena; Agenda.;

    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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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