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Whose Ear (or Arm) to Bend? Information Sources and Venue Choice in Policy Making

Author

Listed:
  • Frederick J. Boehmke

    (University of Iowa)

  • Sean Gailmard

    (Northwestern University)

  • John W. Patty

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

Abstract

Important conceptualizations of both interest groups and bureaucratic agencies suggest that these institutions provide legislatures with greater information for use in policy making. Yet little is known about how these information sources interact in the policy process as a whole. In this paper we consider this issue analytically, and develop a model of policy making in which multiple sources of information – from the bureaucracy, an interest group, or a legislature’s own in-house development – can be brought to bear on policy. Lobbyists begin this process by selecting a venue – Congress or a standing bureaucracy – in which to press for a policy change. The main findings of the paper are that self-selection of lobbyists into different policy making venues can be informative per se; that this self-selection can make legislatures willing to delegate more authority to ideologically distinct bureaucratic agents; and that delegation of authority, while it takes advantage of agency expertise, can nevertheless lead to an increase in the legislature’s own in-house information gathering (e.g., hearings). Changes within the Federal Trade Commission during the 1970s are reinterpreted in the context of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick J. Boehmke & Sean Gailmard & John W. Patty, 2005. "Whose Ear (or Arm) to Bend? Information Sources and Venue Choice in Policy Making," Public Economics 0502009, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0502009 Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 31
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/pe/papers/0502/0502009.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 243-277, Fall.
    2. Bendor, J. & Glazer, A. & Hammond, T.H., 2000. "Theories of Delegation in Political Science," Papers 00-01-14, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Sorge, 2015. "Lobbying (strategically appointed) bureaucrats," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 171-189, June.
    2. Amy McKay, 2011. "The decision to lobby bureaucrats," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 123-138, April.
    3. Peter Grajzl, 2011. "A property rights approach to legislative delegation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 177-200, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Delegation; Lobbying; Bureaucracy; Venue Choice; Discretion;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General

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