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Lobbying in a multidimensional policy space with salient issues

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  • P. Roberti

Abstract

We present a citizen-candidate model on a multidimensional policy space with lobbying, where citizens regard some issues more salient than others. We find that special interest groups that lobby on less salient topics move the implemented policy closer to their preferred policy, compared to the ones that lobby on more salient issues. When we introduce two types of citizens, who differ with respect to the salience of issues, we find pooling equilibria where voters are not able to offset the effect of lobbying on the implemented policy. This result is in sharp contrast with previous work on unidimensional citizen-candidate models that predict the irrelevance of lobbying on the implemented policy. In an extension of the model we provide citizens with the possibility of giving monetary contributions to lobbies in order to increase their power. With more than one lobby per dimension we have two findings. First, under some conditions only the most extreme lobbies receive contributions. Second, the effectiveness of a lobby is maximized when the salience of an issue is low in the population and high for a small group of citizens.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Roberti, 2014. "Lobbying in a multidimensional policy space with salient issues," Working Papers wp922, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp922
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330.
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    4. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
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    8. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & GĂ©rard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 379-397, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. P. Roberti, 2016. "Citizens or lobbies: who controls policy?," Working Papers wp1085, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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