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Uncovered Power: External Agenda Setting, Sophisticated Voting, and Transnational Lobbying

  • Silvia Console Battilana
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    Where does the balance of power lie in a policy-making institution with an external agenda setter, legislators, and lobbies? In a multiple round majority rule game with sophisticated actors, we show that the agenda setter obtains its most preferred policy outcome even if all lobbies and legislators prefer the status quo to the proposal (i.e., the proposal lies in the covered set). A lobby with the ability to recruit supermajorities can counterbalance this power. If contributions are conditional on the entire voting profile, such a ‘transnational lobby’ can veto any proposal at no cost. If contributions are conditional on the votes of each recipient legislator, the transnational lobby has only to possess a greater willingness to pay than the median national lobby to achieve this result. We use our formal model to explain external tariff policies in the European Union following the creation of an internal market.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-11/cesifo1_wp2138.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2138.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2138
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    1. Elhanan Helpman & Torsten Persson, 1998. "Lobbying and Legistlative Bargaining," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1837, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Riboni, Alessandro, 2010. "Committees as Substitutes for Commitment," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7684, Paris Dauphine University.
    3. Hanson, Brian T., 1998. "What Happened to Fortress Europe?: External Trade Policy Liberalization in the European Union," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 55-85, December.
    4. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers 39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
    6. Schofield, Norman, 1978. "Instability of Simple Dynamic Games," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 575-94, October.
    7. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
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