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Astroturf: Interest Group Lobbying and Corporate Strategy

Listed author(s):
  • Thomas P. Lyon

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

  • John W. Maxwell

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

We study three corporate nonmarket strategies designed to influence the lobbying behavior of other special interest groups: (1) astroturf, in which the firm covertly subsidizes a group with similiar views to lobby when it normally would not; (2) the bear hug, in which the firm overtly pays a group to alter its lobbying activitives; and (3) self-regulation, in which the firm voluntarily limits the potential social harm from its activities. All three strategies reduce the informativeness of lobbying, and all reduce the payoff of the public decision-maker. We show that the decision-maker would benefit by requiring the public disclosure of funds but that the availability of alternative strategies limits the impact of such a policy.

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File URL: http://kelley.iu.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2004-18-lyon-maxwell.pdf
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Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2004-18.

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Date of creation: 2004
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 2004
Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2004-18
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Web page: http://kelley.iu.edu/bepp/
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  1. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1986. "A "Signal-Jamming" Theory of Predation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 366-376, Autumn.
  2. Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
  3. Lyon, Thomas P. & Maxwell, John W., 2003. "Self-regulation, taxation and public voluntary environmental agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1453-1486, August.
  4. Robert Aumann & Adam Brandenburger, 2014. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 5, pages 113-136 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  5. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  6. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
  7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  8. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
  9. Livio D. DeSimone & Frank Popoff, 2000. "Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262541092, September.
  10. 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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