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The Efficacy and Efforts of Interest Groups in Post Elections Policy Formation

  • Epstein, Gil S.

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Mealem, Yosef

    ()

    (Netanya Academic College)

  • Nitzan, Shmuel

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

This paper presents a new model of interest groups and policy formation in the legislature. In our setting, the already given party ideological predispositions and power distribution determine the expected policy outcome. Our analysis applies to the case of un-enforced or enforced party discipline as well as to two-party and multi-party (proportional representation) electoral systems. The interest groups' objective is to influence the outcome in their favor by engaging in a contest that determines the final decision in the legislature. Our first result clarifies how the success of an interest group hinges on the dominance of its ideologically closer party and, in general, the coalition/opposition blocks of parties under un-enforced party or coalition/opposition discipline. Such dominance is defined in terms of ideological inclination weighted by power. Our second result clarifies how the success of an interest group hinges on the dominance of its ideology in the ruling coalition (party) in a majoritarian system with enforced coalition (party) discipline. We then clarify under what condition an interest group prefers to direct its lobbying efforts to two parties or the two coalition and opposition blocks of parties under un-enforced discipline rather than to the members of the ruling coalition (party) under enforced discipline. The lobbying efforts under un-enforced and enforced party discipline are also compared. Finally, we clarify the effect of ideological predispositions and power on the efforts of the interest groups.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7031.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Governance, 2013, 14(1), 77-105
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7031
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  1. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2000. "Lobbying Legislatures," CIE Discussion Papers 2000-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  2. Donald Wittman, 2009. "How Pressure Groups Activate Voters and Move Candidates Closer to the Median," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1324-1343, October.
  3. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2011. "Political culture and discrimination in contests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 88-93, February.
  4. 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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  6. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Väth, 2009. "Effort Maximization in Asymmetric N-Person Contest Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 2744, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Intriligator, Michael D, 1973. "A Probabilistic Model of Social Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 553-60, October.
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  9. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. " Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-30, March.
  10. Ramon Faulí-Oller & Efe A. Ok & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2003. "Delegation and polarization of platforms in political competition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 289-309, 09.
  11. van Winden, Frans, 1999. " On the Economic Theory of Interest Groups: Towards a Group Frame of Reference in Political Economics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 1-29, July.
  12. Stergios Skaperdas & Samarth Vaidya, 2008. "Persuasion as a Contest," Economics Series 2008_07, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  13. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 2000. "Polarized platforms and moderate policies with checks and balances," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-20, January.
  14. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  15. David P. Baron, 2006. "Competitive Lobbying and Supermajorities in a Majority-rule Institution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 607-642, December.
  16. Cecilia Testa, 2004. "Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  17. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Electoral outcomes with probabilistic voting and Nash social welfare maxima," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 113-121, February.
  18. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Schwartz, 2013. "Effort maximization in asymmetric contest games with heterogeneous contestants," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 589-630, March.
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