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Interest Groups and Economic Performance: Some New Evidence

  • Zimmermann, Klaus W.

    ()

    (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)

  • Horgos, Daniel

    ()

    (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)

Mancur Olson's theory of the decline of nations is path-breaking in political economics. It has been tested cross-sectionally in numerous empirical studies. We survey the existing results briefly, with a special focus on studies using the number of lobbies as an exogenous variable. Using data from the period 1973-2006, we then present the field's first time-series analysis of the effects of the number of interest groups on the German lobby list and macroeconomic performance, gauged in terms of economic growth and inflation. The number of interest groups (as a proxy for their influence) is shown to have an important impact on macrovariables: Interest group activity significantly leads to a decline in the growth rate and a rise in the inflation rate.

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Paper provided by Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg in its series Working Paper with number 84/2008.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:vhsuwp:2008_084
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  1. Olson, Mancur, Jr, 1995. "The Devolution of the Nordic and Teutonic Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 22-27, May.
  2. Coates, Dennis & Heckelman, Jac C, 2003. " Interest Groups and Investment: A Further Test of the Olson Hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 333-40, December.
  3. Heckelman, Jac C, 2000. " Consistent Estimates of the Impact of Special Interest Groups on Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 319-27, September.
  4. Stefan Josten & Klaus Zimmermann, 2005. "Unanimous constitutional consent and the immigration problem," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 151-170, July.
  5. Campos, Nauro F & Giovannoni, Francesco, 2006. "Lobbying, Corruption and Political Influence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bischoff, Ivo, 2003. " Determinants of the Increase in the Number of Interest Groups in Western Democracies: Theoretical Considerations and Evidence from 21 OECD Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 197-218, January.
  7. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  8. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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