Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Lobbying, Inside and Out: How Special Interest Groups Influence Policy Choices

Wolton, Stephane (2016): Lobbying, Inside and Out: How Special Interest Groups Influence Policy Choices.

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Abstract

Scholars have long recognized two classes of special interest group (SIG) expenditures: inside lobbying, which is intended to influence the content of a bill; and outside lobbying, which is intended to influence the likelihood a bill is enacted into law. This paper juxtaposes both lobbying activities within a single model. Policy choices are a function of the decision-maker's assessment of SIGs' willingness to engage in outside lobbying. Importantly, inside lobbying expenditures do not always reflect SIGs' outside lobbying capacities and therefore cannot adequately measure SIG influence. Consequently, empirical studies of SIG influence which exclusively consider inside lobbying expenditures--as nearly all existing tests do--are likely to produce spurious results. The paper highlights that strong SIG influence is consistent with a small effect of inside lobbying expenditures on policy choice.

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