Privatization, Free Riding, and Industry-Expanding Lobbying

9 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2007 Last revised: 4 Oct 2013

Date Written: March 2010


Critics of privatization argue that privatization encourages providers to lobby for industry expansion. I argue that this is not generally true when public-sector actors also lobby.

Where the effectiveness of advocacy depends on total expenditures, some initial amount of privatization always decreases industry-expanding advocacy. The extent of privatization for which this no longer holds depends on the total benefits of provision to the public and private-sector actors, as well as the extent of collusion.

Under relaxed assumptions, the effect of privatization on industry-expanding advocacy is ambiguous. The charge that privatization will increase advocacy is unfounded without further empirical development.

Keywords: privatization, political advocacy, lobbying, public sector, unions, collusion

JEL Classification: D21, D43, H11, H41, J45, J51, K23, L11, L13, L21, L32,L 33

Suggested Citation

Volokh, Alexander (Sasha), Privatization, Free Riding, and Industry-Expanding Lobbying (March 2010). International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2010; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 969789; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 969789. Available at SSRN: or

Alexander (Sasha) Volokh (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-712-5225 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

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