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Favors for Sale: Strategic Analysis of a Simple Menu Auction with Adverse Selection

Listed author(s):
  • Laussel, Didier
  • Le Breton, Michel

We study the distribution of a fixed amount of "favors" by an incumbent politician between two pressure groups, each of them offering to the agent a campaign contribution contingent on the quantity of "favors" received. Assuming that the total amount supplied is a private information of the politician the equilibrium contribution schedules are fully characterized. It is shown that the principals net equilibrium payoffs are larger the more quickly their marginal valuations of the favors decrease with the amount received. The equilibrium allocation of the stock of "favors" is efficient if the interest group utility functions are identical.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 361.

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Date of creation: 2005
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:1309
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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
  3. Boylan, R.T., 1997. "Private Bills: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Lobbying," Washington University 97-04, Business, Law and Economics Center, John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University.
  4. Snyder, James M, Jr, 1990. "Campaign Contributions as Investments: The U.S. House of Representatives, 1980-1986," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1195-1227, December.
  5. David Martimort, 1996. "Exclusive Dealing, Common Agency, and Multiprincipals Incentive Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
  6. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-294, March.
  7. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  8. Lohmann, Susanne, 1995. "Information, Access, and Contributions: A Signaling Model of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 267-284, December.
  9. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
  10. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2001. "Conflict and Cooperation: The Structure of Equilibrium Payoffs in Common Agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 93-128, September.
  11. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
  12. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
  14. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Policy Watch: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 183-193, Winter.
  15. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
  16. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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