Who Lobbies Whom? Special Interests and Hired Guns

38 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Christopher J. Ellis

Christopher J. Ellis

University of Oregon - Department of Economics

Thomas Groll

Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

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

Ellis, Christopher J. and Groll, Thomas, Who Lobbies Whom? Special Interests and Hired Guns (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3338696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3338696

Christopher J. Ellis (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Thomas Groll

Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
2128510194 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~tg2451

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
447
PlumX Metrics