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How Interest Groups with Limited Resources can Influence Political Outcomes: Information Control and the Landless Peasant Movement in Brazil


  • Lee J. Alston
  • Gary D. Libecap
  • Bernardo Mueller


In this paper we examine how an interest group with limited resources (votes and campaign contributions) nevertheless effectively influenced political policy through the control of information to general voters. Voters in turn lobbied politicians to take actions desired by the interest group. Our focus is on the Landless Peasants Movement (Movimento Sem-Terra) or MST and its success in invigorating land reform in Brazil. Although we direct attention to the MST, our analysis can be generalized to interest group behavior in other settings.

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  • Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Bernardo Mueller, 2005. "How Interest Groups with Limited Resources can Influence Political Outcomes: Information Control and the Landless Peasant Movement in Brazil," ICER Working Papers 15-2005, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:15-2005

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee J. Alston & Bernardo Mueller, 2011. "Brazilian Development: This Time for Real?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(1), pages 37-46, March.

    More about this item


    Landless Peasant Movement; MST; Interest groups; multiprincipal; multitask; land reform.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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