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Informational Lobbying And Agenda Distortion

Author

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  • Arnaud Dellis

    (UQAM)

  • Christopher Cotton

    (Queen's University)

Abstract

We challenge the prevailing view that pure informational lobbying (in the absence of political contributions and evidence distortion or withholding)leads to better informed policymaking. In the absence of lobbying, the policymaker may prioritize the more-important or ex ante more-promising issues. Recognizing this, interest groups involved with other issues can have an incentive to lobby, in order to change the issues that the policymaker learns about and prioritize. We identify two channels through which informational lobbying is detrimental,in the sense of leading to worse policy and possibly less-informed policy choices. First, it can cause the policymaker to give priority to less important issues with active lobbies, rather than the issues that are more-important to his constituents. Second, lobbying by interest groups on issues with ex ante less-promising reforms may crowd out informationcollection by the policymaker on issues with more-promising reforms. The analysis fully characterizes the set of detrimental lobbying equilibria under two alternative types of issue asymmetry.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Dellis & Christopher Cotton, 2015. "Informational Lobbying And Agenda Distortion," Working Paper 1348, Economics Department, Queen's University.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1348
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Catola, 2019. "Contribution and bribe: lobbying in presence of incumbent and bureaucrat," Discussion Papers 2019/247, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Amrita Kamalini Bhattacharyya & Vivekananda Mukherjee, 2019. "Lobbying and Bribery," Studies in Microeconomics, , vol. 7(2), pages 238-251, December.
    3. Bramoullé, Yann & Orset, Caroline, 2018. "Manufacturing doubt," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 119-133.
    4. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2020. "Subpoena power and informational lobbying," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 32(2), pages 188-234, April.
    5. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2018. "Limited capacity in project selection: competition through evidence production," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 65(2), pages 385-421, March.
    6. Christopher Cotton, 2013. "Competing for the Attention of Policymakers," Working Papers 2013-14, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    7. Cheng Li & Christopher Cotton, 2016. "Clueless Politicians," Working Paper 1341, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    8. Stefano Barbieri & Kai A. Konrad & David A. Malueg, 2020. "Preemption contests between groups," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(3), pages 934-961, September.
    9. Christopher J. Ellis & Thomas Groll, 2018. "Who Lobbies Whom? Special Interests and Hired Guns," CESifo Working Paper Series 7367, CESifo.
    10. Cotton, Christopher, 2015. "Competing for Attention," MPRA Paper 65715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Bellani, Luna & Fabella, Vigile Marie & Scervini, Francesco, 2020. "Strategic Compromise, Policy Bundling and Interest Group Power," IZA Discussion Papers 13924, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Stefano Barbieri & Kai A. Konrad & David A. Malueg, 2020. "Preemption contests between groups," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(3), pages 934-961, September.
    13. Li, Cheng & Xiao, Yancheng, 2020. "Persuasion, Spillovers, and Government Interventions," MPRA Paper 103500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2017. "Subpoena Power and Information Transmission," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-05, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    15. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Overlobbying and Pareto-improving Agenda Constraint," School of Economics Working Papers 2016-05, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lobbying; agenda setting; information collection; persuasion; information crowd out; political influence; interest groups;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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