Inefficient Lobbying, Populism, and Oligarchy

33 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Filipe R. Campante

Filipe R. Campante

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Francisco H. G. Ferreira

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 18, 2004

Abstract

Campante and Ferreira investigate the theoretical effects of lobbying and pressure group activities on both economic efficiency and on equity. Looking at lobbying as a political activity that takes place alongside production, they find that lobbies may generate economic inefficiency as part of the process of shifting the allocation of government expenditures in their favor. Outcomes of this nonelectoral political process will always be biased toward the group with a comparative advantage in politics, rather than in production. In a context where the main political conflict is one between "the rich" and "the poor," political equilibria may be either populist (inefficiently pro-poor) or oligarchic (inefficiently pro-rich), depending on each group's lobbying effectiveness.

This paper - a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the political economy of income distribution.

Suggested Citation

Campante, Filipe R. and Ferreira, Francisco H. G., Inefficient Lobbying, Populism, and Oligarchy (February 18, 2004). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3240. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=610281

Filipe R. Campante (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7958 (Phone)

Francisco H. G. Ferreira

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4382 (Phone)

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