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

40 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2012 Last revised: 25 Sep 2020

See all articles by Stephane Wolton

Stephane Wolton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: March 29, 2019

Abstract

Special interest groups (SIGs) have multiple channels of influence: contributing to decision-makers or providing them with information (henceforth, inside lobbying) and grassroots mobilizations or advertising their position to voters (henceforth, outside lobbying). How do these channels interact? I study a signaling model in which a politician chooses the scope of a reform, and anti- and pro-change SIGs use inside lobbying to bias the content of the proposed policy and outside lobbying to affect its fate. In equilibrium, inside lobbying expenditures are associated with policy compromises, a mark of anti-change SIG influence; meanwhile, outside lobbying activities are associated with comprehensive reforms, a sign of pro-change SIG power. I discuss how these findings can potentially inform the empirical research on SIG influence.

Keywords: special interest group, inside lobbying, outside lobbying, power, threat, promise

JEL Classification: D70, D72, D74, D78, D82

Suggested Citation

Wolton, Stephane, Lobbying, Inside and Out: How Special Interest Groups Influence Policy Choices (March 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2190685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2190685

Stephane Wolton (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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