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Lobbying and Compromise

Author

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  • Gil S. Epstein
  • Shmuel Nitzan

Abstract

The compromise enhancing effect of lobbying on public policy has been established in two typical settings. In the first, lobbies are assumed to act as 'principals' and the setters of the policy (the candidates in a Downsian electoral competition or the elected policy maker in a citizen- candidate model of electoral competition) are conceived as 'agents'. In the second setting, the proposed policies are solely determined by the lobbies who are assumed to take the dual role of 'principals' in one stage of the public-policy game and 'agents' in its second stage. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that in the latter setting, the compromising effect of lobbying need not exist. Our reduced-form, two-stage public-policy contest, where two interest groups compete on the approval or rejection of the policy set by a politician, is sufficient to show that the proposed and possibly implemented policy can be more extreme and less efficient than the preferred policies of the interest groups. In such situations then more than the calf (interest groups) wish to suck the cow (politician) desires to suckle thereby threatening the public well being more than the lobbying interest groups. The main result specifies the conditions that give rise to such a situation under both the perfectly and imperfectly discriminating contests.

Suggested Citation

  • Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2005. "Lobbying and Compromise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1413, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1413
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1413.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Leonardo Felli & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Endogenous Lobbying," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 180-215, March.
    3. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2003. "Political culture and monopoly price determination," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, August.
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    10. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
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    13. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Sorge, 2015. "Lobbying (strategically appointed) bureaucrats," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 171-189, June.
    2. Schneider, Maik T., 2014. "Interest-group size and legislative lobbying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 29-41.
    3. Gil S. Epstein, 2013. "Frontier issues of the political economy of migration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 22, pages 411-431 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The struggle over migration policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(4), pages 703-723, October.
    5. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Rent-seeking, spillovers and the benefits of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 217-228, January.
    6. Mazza, Isidoro & van Winden, Frans, 2008. "An endogenous policy model of hierarchical government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 133-149, January.

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    Keywords

    public-policy contests; interest groups; policy makers; lobbying; compromise;

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