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Communication by Interest Groups and the Organization of Lobbying


  • Semenov, Aggey
  • Martimort, David


This paper uses a mechanism design approach to characterize the optimal organization of lobbying groups in a political context where those groups have private information on their ideal points in a one-dimensional policy space. First, we derive the optimal mechanism for one single group and show that it depends on the confict of interests between his own preferences and those of the policy-maker but also on how informative the distribution of the interest group's ideal point is. We then extend the analysis to the case of multiple nterest groups. Although dealing with a coalition of those groups allows the policy-maker to benefit from a more precise information (an informativeness effect), the optimal organization may nevertheless call for a decentralized mechanism where groups compete because this is the only way to transmit information on the relative strength of their preferences (a screening effect). A coalition of interest groups dominates for small values of the confict of interests whereas competing interest groups emerge for greater values.

Suggested Citation

  • Semenov, Aggey & Martimort, David, 2004. "Communication by Interest Groups and the Organization of Lobbying," MPRA Paper 8519, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8519

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
    2. Gromb, Denis & Martimort, David, 2004. "The Organization of Delegated Expertise," IDEI Working Papers 284, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    3. Marco Battaglini & Roland Bénabou, 2003. "Trust, Coordination, and the Industrial Organization of Political Activism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 851-889, June.
    4. Baron, David P. & Meirowitz, Adam, 2001. "Relations between Fully-Revealing Equilibria of Multiple-Sender Signaling and Screening Models," Research Papers 1711, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    5. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.
    6. Richard J. Gilbert & Michael H. Riordan, 1995. "Regulating Complementary Products: A Comparative Institutional Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 243-256, Summer.
    7. Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "Dominant strategy implementation of Bayesian incentive compatible allocation rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 378-399, April.
    8. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
    9. Yves Sprumont, 1995. "Strategyproof Collective Choice in Economic and Political Environments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 68-107, February.
    10. H. Moulin, 1980. "On strategy-proofness and single peakedness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 437-455, January.
    11. Dana Jr. James D., 1993. "The Organization and Scope of Agents: Regulating Multiproduct Industries," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 288-310, April.
    12. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "A Differential Approach to Dominant Strategy Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1507-1520, September.
    13. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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