Interest Group Activity and Government Growth: A Causality Analysis
Posted: 14 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 13, 2016
The special interest group model of government, employed throughout public choice theory, models the outcomes of government as a function of special interest group activity. Early work in this area by authors such as Stigler (1971) and Peltzman (1976) focused on the role of interest groups in securing regulation beneficial to the regulated industry. Subsequent formulations, including McCormick and Tollison (1981), Yandle (1983), Mueller and Murrell (1986), Shughart and Tollison (1986), Becker (1983), Sobel (2004), and Holcombe (1999), use the interest group model not only to explain a wide variety of individual government programs and policies, but the overall growth of government spending itself. Even the passage of child labor laws has been attributed to interest groups such as owners of steam-driven mills, physicians, and teachers.
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