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Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey

  • Pablo T. Spiller
  • Sanny Liao

The participation of interest groups in public policy making is unavoidable. Its unavoidable nature is only matched by the universal suspicion with which it has been seen by both policy makers and the public. Recently, however, there has been a growing literature that examines the participation of interest groups in public policy making from a New Institutional Economics perspective. The distinguishing feature of the New Institutional Economics Approach is its emphasis in opening up the black box of decision-making, whether in understanding the rules of the game, or the play of the game. In this paper we do not attempt to fairly describe the vast literature on interest group's behavior. Instead, the purpose of this essay for the New Institutional Economics Guide Book is to review recent papers that follow the NIE mantra. That is, they attempt to explicate the micro-analytic features of the way interest groups actually interact with policy-makers, rather than providing an abstract high-level representation. We emphasize the role of the institutional environment in understanding interest groups' strategies.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12209.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Publication status: published as Brousseau, Eric and Jean-Michel Glachant (eds.) New Institutional Economics: A Guidebook. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12209
Note: LE
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  1. Ernesto Dal Bo�, 2006. "Regulatory Capture: A Review," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 203-225, Summer.
  2. Spiller, Pablo T, 1996. "Institutions and Commitment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 421-52.
  3. Gely, Rafael & Spiller, Pablo T., 1992. "The political economy of supreme court constitutional decisions: The case of Roosevelt's court-packing plan," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 45-67, March.
  4. Spiller, Pablo T, 1990. "Politicians, Interest Groups, and Regulators: A Multiple-Principals Agency Theory of Regulation, or "Let Them Be Bribed."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 65-101, April.
  5. Salzberger, Eli & Fenn, Paul, 1999. "Judicial Independence: Some Evidence from the English Court of Appeal," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 831-47, October.
  6. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller, 2000. "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina," Working Papers 29, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised May 2000.
  7. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes? Or, Do Donors Support Candidates Who Value the Same Things That They Do?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 317-50, October.
  8. Lee J. Alston & Bernardo Mueller, 2005. "Pork for Policy: Executive and Legislative Exchange in Brazil," NBER Working Papers 11273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Epstein, David & O'Halloran, Sharyn, 1995. "A Theory of Strategic Oversight: Congress, Lobbyists, and the Bureaucracy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 227-55, October.
  10. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
  11. Lupia, Arthur & McCubbins, Mathew D, 1994. "Learning from Oversight: Fire Alarms and Police Patrols Reconstructed," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 96-125, April.
  12. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  13. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
  14. Mario Bergara & Barak Richman & Pablo T. Spiller, 2002. "Modeling Supreme Court Strategic Decision Making: Congressional Constraint," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1402, Department of Economics - dECON.
  15. Ramseyer, J Mark & Rasmusen, Eric B, 1997. "Judicial Independence in a Civil Law Regime: The Evidence from Japan," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 259-86, October.
  16. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder, 2003. "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?," NBER Working Papers 9409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-63, February.
  18. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
  19. Matias Iaryczower & Pablo Spiller & Mariano Tommasi, 2005. "Judicial Lobbying: The Politics of Labor Law Constitutional Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 11317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
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