Who Lobbies Whom? Special Interests and Hired Guns
38 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019
Date Written: 2018
We model which special interest groups lobby which policymakers directly, and which employ for-profit intermediaries. We show that special interests affected by policy issues that frequently receive high political salience lobby policymakers directly, while those that rarely receive high political salience must employ “hired guns.” This follows from the availability of repeated agency contracts between policymakers and special interests. Special interests that lobby on issues that frequently experience high political salience may be incentivized to truthfully reveal private, policy relevant, information to policymakers via the promise of a high probability future political access. For-profit intermediaries are always in the “informational lobbying market” and can be easily incentivized by policymakers to truthfully reveal private information. We also show that “insecure” policymakers, those in vulnerable seats, tend to be lobbied by professional intermediaries. Also, policymakers that are more time constrained tend to rely more on professional intermediaries for policy relevant information.
Keywords: informational lobbying, constrained access, intermediaries, financial contributions
JEL Classification: D720, D780, D830
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation