Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Ideological Uncertainty and Lobbying Competition

Martimort, David and Semenov, Aggey (2008): Ideological Uncertainty and Lobbying Competition. Forthcoming in: Journal of Public Economics

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Abstract

Polarized interest groups (principals) compete to influence a decision-maker (agent) through monetary contributions. This decision-maker chooses a one-dimensional policy and has private information about his ideal point. Competition between interest groups under asymmetric information yields a rich pattern of equilibrium strategies and payoffs. Policies are systematically biased towards the decision-maker's ideal point and it may sometimes lead to a "laissez-faire" equilibrium. Either the most extreme decision-makers or the most moderate ones may get information rent depending on the importance of their ideological bias. The market for influence may exhibit segmentation with interest groups keeping an unchallenged influence on ideologically close-by decision-makers. Indeed, interest groups stop contributing when there is too much uncertainty on the decision-maker's ideology and when the latter is ideologically too far away.

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