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The Political Economy of Interest Groups: Pressure and Information

  • Nicolas Porteiro
  • Matthias Dahm

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 Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 352.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:352
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  2. 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.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1998. "Competing for Endorsements," Papers 09-98, Tel Aviv.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1999. "Political economy, information and incentives1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 649-669, April.
  8. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
  9. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2000. "Lobbying Legislatures," Working Papers 07-2000, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  10. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
  11. Randolph Sloof & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Show Them Your Teeth First!," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 81-120, July.
  12. Richard Ball, 1995. "Interest Groups, Influence And Welfare," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 119-146, 07.
  13. Laffont, J.-J., 1999. "Political Economy, Information and Incentives," Papers 99.516, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  14. 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.
  15. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. " Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-84, December.
  16. 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.
  17. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
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