How Interest Groups with Limited Resources Can Influence Political Outcomes: Information Control and the Landless Peasant Movement in Brazil

ICER Working Paper Series No. 15 - 2005

40 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2005

See all articles by Lee J. Alston

Lee J. Alston

Ostrom Workshop; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bernardo Mueller

Universidade de Brasilia

Gary D. Libecap

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: June 13, 2005

Abstract

In this paper we examine how an interest group with limited resources (votes and campaign contributions) nevertheless effectively influenced political policy through the control of information to general voters. Voters in turn lobbied politicians to take actions desired by the interest group. Our focus is on the Landless Peasants Movement (Movimento Sem-Terra) or MST and its success in invigorating land reform in Brazil. Although we direct attention to the MST, our analysis can be generalized to interest group behavior in other settings.

Keywords: Landless Peasant Movement, MST, Interest groups, multiprincipal, multitask, land reform

JEL Classification: D23, D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Alston, Lee J. and Mueller, Bernardo and Libecap, Gary D., How Interest Groups with Limited Resources Can Influence Political Outcomes: Information Control and the Landless Peasant Movement in Brazil (June 13, 2005). ICER Working Paper Series No. 15 - 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=761750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.761750

Lee J. Alston

Ostrom Workshop ( email )

513 N. Park Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408–3895
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ostromworkshop.indiana.edu/alston/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Bernardo Mueller

Universidade de Brasilia ( email )

Dept. de Economia
Universidade de Brasilia
Brasilia, DF 70910-900
Brazil
55 61 981110349 (Phone)
55 61 3349-1303 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://bpmmueller.wixsite.com/bernardo-mueller

Gary D. Libecap (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management ( email )

4670 Physical Sciences North
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131
United States
805-893-8611 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.esm.ucsb.edu/people/usernew.asp?user=glibecap

University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center ( email )

McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-4821 (Phone)
520-626-5269 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bpa.arizona.edu/~libecap

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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