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The political economy of interest groups: pressure and information

  • DAHM, Matthias
  • PORTEIRO, Nicolas

We examine the incentives of an interest group to provide a political decision-maker with policy-relevant information and to exert pressure on her. Both activities are costly but may induce the lobby's preferred policy. Our paper provides an integrated analysis of both lobbying activities and leads to interesting insights into the behavior of the interest group. Moreover, we show how conclusions of models that take into account only one of these activities may change. Our main results say that the relationship between the pressure exerted and the amount of information transmitted is not monotonic, and that an increase in the amount of information that the lobby transmits may be socially harmful. This analysis has immediate implications for the current discussions in the United States and Europe concerning the reform of their respective rules of party and candidate financing.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2003057.

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Date of creation: 00 Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2003057
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Competing for Endorsements," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1784, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1999. "Political economy, information and incentives1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 649-669, April.
  5. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2000. "Lobbying Legislatures," CIE Discussion Papers 2000-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  6. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. " Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  7. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  8. Austen-Smith, David, 1998. "Allocating Access for Information and Contributions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 277-303, October.
  9. Randolph Sloof & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Show Them Your Teeth First!," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 81-120, July.
  10. Michael J. Mandel, 1999. "Going for the Gold: Economists as Expert Witnesses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 113-120, Spring.
  11. Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Show Them Your Teeth First! A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Lobbying and Pressure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1-2), pages 81-120, July.
  12. Laffont, J.-J., 1999. "Political Economy, Information and Incentives," Papers 99.516, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  13. Prat, A., 1998. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies," Discussion Paper 1998-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Richard Ball, 1995. "Interest Groups, Influence And Welfare," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 119-146, 07.
  15. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  16. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
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