Who Cares About the Lobbying Agenda

32 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012

See all articles by David Kimball

David Kimball

University of Missouri at Saint Louis

Frank Baumgartner

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Jeffrey M. Berry

Tufts University

Marie Hojnacki

Pennsylvania State University

Beth Leech

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark

Bryce Summary

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 31, 2011

Abstract

There has been a longstanding concern about inequality in the representation of interests by organized groups and lobbyists in American politics. The lobbying community in Washington is dominated by corporations, trade associations, and professional associations. In Lobbying and Policy Change, Baumgartner and colleagues find that interest group resources are not a very reliable predictor of policy outcomes. This might lead some to conclude that inequality in interest group representation is not a major problem for American democracy. However, Baumgartner and colleagues suggest that inequality in interest group representation presents itself at the agenda-setting stage. They find that the public agenda is quite different from the lobbying agenda. That is, the types of issues that are most important to the public differ from the types of issues that lobbyists bring to the attention of government officials. We examine public opinion data in more detail to determine if there is greater congruence between the public agenda and lobbying agenda for certain publics (e.g., high SES citizens). We find additional evidence that the lobbying agenda does not reflect the policy priorities of the public. However, we find relatively few differences between the policy priorities of low-income and high-income Americans, suggesting that the lobbying agenda fails to represent the concerns of all income groups.

Keywords: lobbying, agenda-setting

JEL Classification: H00, H10

Suggested Citation

Kimball, David and Baumgartner, Frank and Berry, Jeffrey M. and Hojnacki, Marie and Leech, Beth and Summary, Bryce, Who Cares About the Lobbying Agenda (August 31, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920452 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1920452

David Kimball (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Saint Louis ( email )

1 University Blvd.
St Louis, MO 63121
United States

Frank Baumgartner

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Jeffrey M. Berry

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Marie Hojnacki

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Beth Leech

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark ( email )

180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Bryce Summary

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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