IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Special-Interest Groups and Growth

  • Bonnie Wilson


    (Department of Economics, Saint Louis University)

  • Dennis Coates


    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland Baltimore County)

  • Jac Heckelman


    (Department of Economics, Wake Forest University)

This paper explores the relationship between special-interest groups and economic growth, using newly assembled data on the number of groups observed across countries. In a sample of 86 countries at two points in time (for a total of 169 observations), we ¯nd support for Mancur Olson's theory that interest group activity reduces economic growth. We also ¯nd evidence that interest groups are negatively associated with both channels to growth - capital stock growth and productivity growth.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Bonnie Wilson)

File Function: Revised version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Saint Louis University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007-01.

in new window

Length: 34 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Public Choice, 2011, pages 439-457
Handle: RePEc:slu:wpaper:2007-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cook Hall / Davis-Shaughnessy Hall, 3674 Lindell Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: 314 977-3848
Fax: 314 977-1478
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Zimmermann, Klaus W. & Horgos, Daniel, 2008. "Interest Groups and Economic Performance: Some New Evidence," Working Paper 84/2008, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  2. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," CRSP working papers 526, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1788, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  7. Coates, Dennis & Heckelman, Jac C. & Wilson, Bonnie, 2010. "The political economy of investment: Sclerotic effects from interest groups," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 208-221, June.
  8. Knack, Stephen, 2003. " Groups, Growth and Trust: Cross-Country Evidence on the Olson and Putnam Hypotheses," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 341-55, December.
  9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2005. "Democracy, Volatility, and Economic Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 348-361, May.
  11. F. Cribari-Neto & S. G. Zarkos, 1999. "Bootstrap methods for heteroskedastic regression models: evidence on estimation and testing," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 211-228.
  12. Bonnie Wilson & Dennis Coates & Jac Heckelman, 2007. "Determinants of Interest Group Formation," Working Papers 2007-03, Saint Louis University, Department of Economics.
  13. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kennelly, Brendan & Murrell, Peter, 1991. " Industry Characteristics and Interest Group Formation: An Empirical Study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 21-40, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Crain, W Mark & Lee, Katherine J, 1999. "Economic Growth Regressions for the American States: A Sensitivity Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 242-57, April.
  17. 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.
  18. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  20. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
  21. MacKinnon, James G. & White, Halbert, 1985. "Some heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimators with improved finite sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 305-325, September.
  22. 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.
  23. Bonnie Wilson & Dennis Coates & Jac Heckelman, 2007. "Special-Interest Groups and Volatility," Working Papers 2007-04, Saint Louis University, Department of Economics.
  24. Jac C. Heckelman, 2007. "Explaining the Rain: The Rise and Decline of Nations after 25 Years," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 18-33, July.
  25. Colin Xu, Lixin & Li, Wei & Zhen-Wei Qiang, Christine, 2001. "The Political Economy of Privatization and Competition: Cross-Country Evidence from the Telecommunications Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 2825, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 1999. "Finance and the sources of growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2057, The World Bank.
  27. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  28. Dennis Coates & Bonnie Wilson, 2007. "Interest group activity and long-run stock market performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 343-358, December.
  29. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "Understanding Patterns of Economic Growth: Searching for Hills among Plateaus, Mountains, and Plains," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 221-50, May.
  30. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2007:i:18:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Doner Richard F. & Schneider Ben Ross, 2000. "Business Associations and Economic Development: Why Some Associations Contribute More Than Others," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-29, December.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Bonnie Wilson & Dennis Coates & Jac Heckelman, 2008. "Democracy and Volatility: Do Special-Interest Groups Matter?," Working Papers 2008-01, Saint Louis University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:slu:wpaper:2007-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bonnie Wilson)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.